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

Cloverdale man turns old bed racer into chicken coop

Clayton Heights’ Aaron Grim says repurposed racer ‘easy to clean and easy to collect the eggs’

U-Haul truck hits hydro pole, causes power outage in Surrey

Vehicle driving westbound on Fraser Highway

Two-vehicle crash leads to argument in South Surrey

Police investigating after one driver left the scene

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99 in South Surrey

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Truck fire in Surrey destroys generator bound for Uganda missions trip, GoFundMe started

Glen Alexander says his ‘Jesus is Lord’ vehicle has been target of vandalism before

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read

l -->