Why is a new year so alluring? Is it because some miraculous event takes place when the clock strikes midnight and January 1st chimes in? Is it because there is some fundamental shift in our thoughts and actions that characterize the change from the previous year to the next? Does nature subject itself to man’s calendar and thereby spring from one season to the next? The answer to all of these questions is an obvious “no,” and if it were not for the dropping of light-colored balls and the ticking of second-hands on clocks, we would scarcely know that anything had happened from one moment to the next.
Why then is a new year so alluring? It is so, I believe, because of the desire ingrained in every human being for renewal, for a second chance, for a do-over. For the end of every year is a natural call for retrospection on that year, and everyone of us, being the imperfect creatures that we are, are filled with happiness for the good things accomplished and, more significantly, regret for the things that we did not accomplish and the things at which we failed. And since all of us fall short far more than we succeed, the end of the year marks the end of a failed chapter in our lives, and the new year marks the beginning of a new chapter filled with possibility for change.