If 2016 has taught me one thing, it is that life, my life, whilst of all-consuming importance to me, is incalculably infinitesimal in the greater scheme of things. The death of so many friends, and the universal mourning for the passing of so many icons this year has set a sombre tone for the imminent sunset of the devastating year that has been 2016. But even as we wring our hands and rail at the iniquity of life, the same life that has snatched so prematurely from us such colossal talents as David Bowie, George Michael, and A. A. Gill, how many of us can say we've truly distilled the lessons this year—and all these deaths—have taught us, thereby equipping ourselves with the necessary tools to march into the new year as better versions of ourselves?
It'll be this same small stuff that we squandered our lives nurturing grudges over that we will most regret, by which time it shall of course be too late.
Because, dear readers, the transgressions, real or perceived, that we've been all too willing to sacrifice friendships over are nothing but the proverbial small stuff, the same small stuff that we routinely—and often without perceiving the true import of the words—tell each other not to sweat over. At the hour of reckoning, quite possibly a lot sooner than you and I might care to imagine, it'll be this same small stuff that we squandered our lives nurturing grudges over that we will most regret, by which time it shall of course be too late.
When less bothers you, you'll laugh more.
Let's not allow the tragedies of the year we've just lived to go gently into the good night. Let's make a pact, you and I, to not sweat the small stuff in the year that is already knocking on the door, waiting to enter. When push comes to shove, all the energy we spend fretting about what people think about us, or whether our achievements have been adequately recognised, would be much better served elsewhere. Kill with kindness. Walk in someone else's shoes. Live each day as if it's your last.Social media is littered with these messages that we dutifully share, again without ever really absorbing the meaning of the words. What if, just what if, we could, as our new year resolution, make it our mission to live fearlessly, love wholeheartedly, and dance like no one's watchingrather than just hitting the 'share' button and moving onto the next post? Because, let's face it, once you've truly committed yourselves to live, love, laugh outside of the fatuous quasi self-help context in which this saying is normally taken, the knock on effects will be immeasurable.
Make it our mission to live fearlessly, love wholeheartedly, and dance like no one's watching.
When less bothers you, you'll laugh more. When you spend less time despising someone for hurting you, you'll have more time to love those you care about. Simple equations of what you invest directly affecting what you receive in return, and as easy to preach as they are difficult to practise. But in the memory of all those gone too soon, I'm willing to travel the hard road, to embrace those who wish me ill, to smile at the man who's appropriated the parking spot I'd waited five minutes to acquire, and to do whatever is in my power to make the small stuff become no stuff. It'll be challenging to be sure, but whoever heard of a life worth living that's easy? The question is, dear readers, are you willing to join me on this journey?
Happy New Year. May it, in every respect, be better than the last.