New Begendings in 2013

John Devitt
John Devitt

For some, a New Year signals an ending to what has come before, while for others it means the start of a new beginning.  This dichotomous view runs parallel to the traditional ‘glass half full/half’ empty judgment of pessimism versus optimism.  A lesser-known third option is that the glass is always full; it is half full of air and half full of liquid and always wonderful.  So too is a New Year.  It is neither a beginning nor an ending, but simply, a begending.

First and foremost, the world did not end on December 21.  At least, we’re all mostly sure this is true unless we are actually living in a matrix like computer program after all.  We may not currently know the definitive answer here, but luckily money is being spent at the University of Washington to determine whether or not this is actually the case (  Although, it should be noted that the experiment will most probably be negative, or inconclusive, as any robot overlords would likely not allow us to learn of our own subjugation.  On the plus side, if the world did not end yet, it is strongly predicted to more dangerous in 2013 due to peaking of solar storms, and a whole lot of other vague predictions from ancient prophecies.  Tremble and plan your parties accordingly.

A new begending does not have to be as massive as a seismic globe-shattering cataclysm of thought or destruction, but can be a simpler decision to be better or do different.  This sometimes means joining a gym for a few weeks before running out of motivation and dedication, inadvertently angering many fitness Nazis (  On the other hand, manageable goals or ‘resolutions’ can give one a greater sense of accomplishment.  Success can be found quite often by ‘pooping frequently in 2013’ and/or ‘getting your $h!t together this year’.

Regardless of those small changes, it is important to keep your goals to yourself and allow the gratification received from others to arrive at the proper time.  That would be once you have completed what you set out to do.  Not once you have blogged about it on a Twitter feed or Facebook status update.  Of course, we discussed this in greater detail last year (

Ultimately New Year’s Eve, December 21st or even Wednesday afternoon are all simply random days where we can decide what to do with ourselves.  Will we choose to be more informed human beings and take interest in what is going on around us?  Will we help others more than we choose to help ourselves?  Will we take a deep breath and be responsible first as individuals, and then again as a society?  Let us choose to be accountable to each other and force those who would shirk their responsibilities to be accountable also.  Seek out the best information possible and act.

This is not suggesting shoot first and ask questions later, but it is important to realize the clear difference between strategic thinking and strategic action.  Those who order study after study and waffle on decision-making are not leading, they are hiding and people recognize spinelessness when they see it.  Perhaps 2013 will be a year of leadership and inner strength, both for us, and others.  Perhaps 2012 stacked enough problems on our shoulders for us to strive for greater accountability in both ourselves and the political and environmental structures we rely on.  If we don’t take it on sooner or later, then we might as well keep putting our faith in another end of the world scenario to absolve us of our responsibilities.

Thus a begending can be the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning, or neither.  Whatever it is, there is no need for a religiously determined day on the calendar to tell you its time to change or improve what you are.  But for now at least, let’s use New Year’s as a springboard for a new begending, or how about today?