December is a month of reflection and celebration, while January lends itself to goal-setting, planning and expectations.

But this year seems more ominous when we anticipate not only a new year, but a new decade.

January 2020 seems like a momentous occasion to look backward and forward … to take a broader view. It was just yesterday that we were panicked about the threats of Y2K, and here we are a score of years later. If Abraham Lincoln were giving his famous Gettysburg Address today, he would have to say, “Twelve score and four years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

There are things that time does not diminish, and then there are so many events that quickly become faint memories or forgotten altogether. I guess it always goes back to the question, “What’s important in life?”

How does one plan for a new decade? Add 10 years to your life right now, what will it look like? What could you accomplish in those years, or what unnecessary baggage could you let go of that you’ve been carrying around?

If you have family members older than you, add 10 years to their life. Is it possible that you should spend more time with them now?

I think we should use this time to set loftier goals … those aspirations that have a timeless quality. What can we do to foster love, acceptance and peace in our world? For those of us who are of an older generation, is it time that we share our wisdom, experience and understanding of the world?

Rather than setting self-interested goals, we could think more broadly about how we can contribute to the world in the next 10 years. As Lincoln lamented, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here … ”

But time has not diminished his words because the nation has endured. Not only do we remember his words, but we are charged to assume a full measure of devotion to make this world a place of peace and prosperity for all. It is a lofty goal in 2020.

 

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