Within the week, we will witness the closing of yet another year and the beginning of a new one. We have just completed the end of the first decade of this century. I think we are at a most critical time in our lives as individuals, as well as a nation and a world. I have always looked at New Year’s as a very special part — if not, in fact, the most important part — of the holiday season.
The New Year is always a new beginning, a new chapter in the book, which is the story of life itself. I have always been intrigued by numbers and various combinations created by intended manipulation, as well as by mere chance. Next Saturday will be one of the most thought-provoking dates in my lifetime. For one day, the date will be 1-1-11. In my lifetime, we have never witnessed a more profound date than what Jan. 1 of 2011 will be.
The first day of a new year is a time for resolution and hope for a fresh start on the rest of our lives. I have, for as long as I can remember, made New Year’s resolutions. I have found that if you make resolutions that result in making you feel better about yourself, there is a great feeling of satisfaction. Good resolutions, even when you fail to keep them permanently, will result in a feeling of satisfaction for the time in which you are successful.
Last year — as is my custom — I made several resolutions. Some I failed to keep all year, but I benefited during the time that I did keep them. This brings me to the purpose of this letter to you and your readers. I would like to take this means to invite all of those who read this to consider a resolution that brought me joy and peace.
Last year, I made probably the most significant resolution I have ever made in my life. I resolved to learn and recite The Prayer of St. Francis. I started on Jan. 1 and managed to recite it almost every day this year. I feel like it has helped me to become a better person, and I believe most people would find satisfaction the same way I have.
— Jimmy Smith