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Bill Anderson Reflects on 2023

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Bill Anderson
Former Mijas Councillor, Bill Anderson

It almost seems like a cliché now to say that the New Year is a time for reflection. January is named after the god Janus with two faces: one looking back and the other looking forward. So, perhaps not a cliché after all.

What strikes me is that 2023 has not felt the same for everyone. I spoke to someone just this morning who said it has been a good year, and to another who said she is glad to see the back of it. Defining  sentiments which are universal is not an easy, if possible task.

At a personal level, I will be glad to see the back of it. It has been filled with disappointments; some received as unwelcomed gifts from others, and others probably just down to me and the decisions I have made. I’ve had better years, but I guess I have also had worse.

When I think about 2023, my thinking most certainly goes to the people we have lost; those who are not here to see us into 2024. For me, the losses have by far exceeded any sad losses experienced during the C0v1d crisis. I think of those who have departed and of those they leave behind, some of the latter facing an uncertain future.

It doesn’t serve any useful purpose just thinking about those in war torn lands. I don’t think that a single year of my life has  gone by without some international conflict raising its ugly head. Thinking about it doesn’t change anything, but we would need to be hard hearted not to feel compassion for those directly affected. It doesn’t matter which side you feel connected to, Neville Chamberlain summed up the reality in 1938; “In war, whichever side may call itself the victor, there are no winners, but all are losers.” The real sadness is that mankind still sees war as a solution to any type of conflict.

This perhaps sounds very negative, and it serves no purpose to turn over the page of the diary and see nothing good. Thinking positively and acting optimistically have to be the foundations of moving forward; the only  direction life takes us in. We, little people, have very little influence in what happens in the world, even in the country we live in, but we do have the possibility of making our community better; giving a thought for your neighbours, friends, and even nodding acquaintances. We can decide to be more tolerant, compassionate, and understanding. We can harden up a little and not take offence at every random comment, not see ourselves as better or smarter than anyone else, or feel obliged to demonstrate our moral superiority.  Bliadhna mhath ùr:  Feliz año nuevo:   Happy New Year.

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