COLUMN: Time for another spin around the sun

COLUMN: Time for another spin around the sun

A new year brings new opportunities to do better

There’s always a bit of pressure (perhaps self-imposed) as a year draws to a close, to look back on the previous 12 months and extract from them some profound lesson or heretofore undiscovered pearl of wisdom.

Or, at the very least, to offer a marginally unique take on the whole affair.

For me, thinking of something that hasn’t already been said in a dozen different ways – and likely more articulately than I ever could – is the eternal challenge.

The advent of Twitter – where every issue, incident or idea, once posted, is instantly dissected – has, of course, made it nearly impossible to produce a truly original thought on, well, anything. (There’s always someone who can type faster than you do).

Recent flooding in north Surrey after a water main broke, for example, quickly turned into a race to crack the first joke about the mayor getting his new canal. It took, quite literally, seconds for the first of many, many such quips to appear online.

The past few years have been (somewhat jokingly) referred to as dumpster fires – another great phrase that’s getting a bit threadbare from overuse. And 2019 didn’t do much to turn that tide on a global front.

Politically, it was such a tumultuous year in the U.S. and Britain that Canada’s biggest scandals – and even for an election year they were not minor ones – seemed a bit quaint by comparison.

In not entirely-unrelated news, Oxford English Dictionary chose “climate emergency” as its word(s) of the year for 2019. That notion, in and of itself, is a little depressing, but at the same time, combined with the fact that a teenage climate activist has been named Time maganize’s Person of the Year, it speaks to a growing awareness and wider acceptance that our current behaviour simply isn’t sustainable and that the stakes are, in fact, incredibly high.

Because of this, I’m choosing to hope that in 2020 these issues continue to draw and hold our focus and spur some meaningful action at every level – from more household trash being re-routed to the recycling bin or finding new life, to the far larger picture – reducing global dependence on fossil fuels.

Locally, we’ve had the Surrey police transition, ride hailing (or lack of it), dog poop, parking fees and tree removal to occupy people’s thoughts and fill our letters page from week to week.

It’s human nature, of course, to make the most noise about the things that make us unhappy, but there’s also a lot of good going on behind the scenes. It just tends to be done a little more quietly.

As arbitrary as it is, when you consider that it’s based on the planet’s position in the solar system – in itself an infinitesimal blip in an infinite universe – Jan. 1 offers us an opportunity to both reflect on the past and look ahead at the year to come. To give ourselves credit for how far we’ve come and reassess what we could be doing better. For those of us who find there are changes we’d like to make, it’s a perfect day to press the reset button. Just like the other 364.

Not a particularly unique observation, granted, but universal truths rarely are.

Brenda Anderson is editor of the Peace Arch News.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey’s Historic Stewart Farm. (City of Surrey photo)
City receives $400K grant to build Indigenous Carving Centre in South Surrey

Construction of showcase venue to be completed mid-2022

Snowfall warnings Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 for parts of the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Chilliwack Progress)
Winter storm warnings Thursday for Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon

Snow is expected to become heavier as day progresses with snowfall amounts of up to 30 centimetres

Longtime basketball coach Allison McNeill is worried that the COVID-19 pandemic will adversely affect high-school athletes with university athletic aspirations. (Garrett James/Langley Events Centre photo)
COVID-19: Young athletes scrambling for scholarships, opportunities amid pandemic

‘They lost their whole Grade 12 year’ says Semiahmoo basketball coach Allison McNeill

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
White Rock woman among dozens in Lower Mainland to benefit from Elder Dog program

Dog-care organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but requires more clients to serve

Travis Selje with Rex, the family dog he got to enjoy for the final six months of his life. (Submitted photo)
Defence says evidence ‘compelling, overwhelming’ to acquit Surrey woman in deadly crash

Epileptic seizure caused fatal crash that killed Travis Selje, lawyer argues in final submissions

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Most Read