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Time to vacuum

New Year’s a time to hope, reflect

Published: Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 4:59 a.m. CST

(Continued from Page 1)

The new year sauntered in with the usual hopes for a brighter tomorrow, warmer hearts and political accountability. On a more personal level are resolutions to lose weight, live better and break bad habits. It was the same last year, and it will be the same next year.

That’s not as cynical as it sounds. The changing of the calendar always provides an opportunity to hope and to reflect.

It’s like vacuuming the floor. You know that after you run the vacuum, more dust will settle down. More dirt will be tracked in. The dog will shred more of his fuzzy toy. You know you’re going to have to sweep th floors again, but for a day, or at least a few hours, the carpets are clean.

Of course, you know there’s dirt ground in that the vacuum won’t remove. There are stains that won’t come out. But knowing that we cannot sanitize the rug and knowing that more filth is forthcoming, we still do our best to tidy up the room. We dust the furniture, pick up the clutter and maybe even wash the windows. Well, maybe at your house; our windows never get washed. We all decide what level of dirt we’re willing to live with.

And that’s life, isn’t it? A constant rearranging of furniture and doing our best to create order among the chaos. Throughout the year, we have lots of opportunities to do this on a personal level. For some, it may be every weekend or every other weekend. For others, it’s a few times a year like spring cleaning and when company is coming over. New Year’s is one of those opportunities.

We celebrate our blessings, share good food and laughs with friends and family and shine the light of hope even in the most drab corners of our lives. We need to hope. We need to believe that life can be better and that we can effect a better a life. And we can. Every small improvement we make builds a better future for ourselves and our children just as the contents of the vacuum bag is comprised of many tiny granules, each one insignificant by itself.

We don’t have to save the world. It’s too big, anyway. But we can change the little things around us, and collectively, that will save the world. I hope.

———

©Copyright 2012 by David Porter who can be reached at dporter@illinoispress.org. Best wishes for the new year.

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