2008-12-31 / Editorials

Look Back, But Move Forward At New Year


"'This is a day of new beginnings/Time to remember, and move on,' runs a hymn frequently sung at church services this time of year. It strikes us as appropriate to our entire situation."

This was the opening sentence of the last editorial we wrote in 2000. We went on to note that after a long and hard-fought campaign, a new president would take the oath of office in January. That new president was at that moment, on Dec. 27, 2000, "selecting cabinet officers and advisors from among a wide spectrum of ethnicities and backgrounds, moving on to build a coalition truly representative of the diversity that, unified, makes up the great nation in which we live".

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Eight years later, we once again stand at the threshold of a new year, a new presidential administration and, we all fervently hope, some new answers to some longstanding problems. There is no need to enumerate the current state of the local and national economy, domestic and international relations and threats to our well being by those who wish us harm, both here and abroad. The problems are many and the solutions forthcoming only after long thought and hard work on the part of many people, including us.

In just the past week we had a taste of some of those problems, some man-made and some brought about by the wrath of nature. We saw a financial scam collapse, bringing ruin to thousands, including some of the charities and nonprofit organizations that exist in order to assist people suffering financial reverses. Snow and ice storms gave rise to inconvenience, delays and in some cases, sadly, brought about the deaths of innocent people. Nor was nature the only malfeasant: man's inhumanity to man reared its ugly head yet again, with at least three murders taking place in the course of the holiday weekend just past.

In 2001, we cited Pandora, of Greek mythology, who, we noted, opened the box that bears her name and released all the ills that beset mankind. Only the still, small voice of hope was left, but somehow that was enough to give mankind the will to go on. We feel it is appropriate at the dawn of a new administration and a new era to invoke her story once again.

We believe that it is within the power of the human will and the human spirit, if not to vanquish the problems we face on the first try, then at least to make a good start. Tomorrow, Jan. 1, 2009, is the first day of the rest of all our lives. We call on our readers to join us in going forward with the belief that we can make a fresh start, turn a corner, begin a new page.

We hope we will reach at least some of the goals we set out for ourselves. If we don't reach whatever it is we set out for, may we at least find the journey a fulfilling one. This is our wish for you, our readers, and for our colleagues and friends. May 2009 prove to be a very Happy New Year.

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