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John Andersen: Songs of the New Year, and phrases that can go away

John Andersen: Songs of the New Year, and phrases that can go away

From the COLLECTION: John Andersen's columns in the Herald series
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I hope you have had an excellent Christmas and made it the best you possibly could. We now turn to New Years.

As the carol goes “Fast away the old year passes; Hail the new year, lads and lasses, Sing we joyous, all together, Heedless of the wind and weather” You of course recognize “Deck the Halls,” the old English-language lyrics by the Scottish musician Thomas Oliphant. The carol first appeared in 1862.

Perhaps you prefer Robert Burn’s “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?” It appears that the Scotch have the New Year all wrapped up, signed, sealed and delivered. But Old Ben Franklin has a lot going for him when he says ““Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

Not to be outdone here are a couple more: “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions” (Joey Adams), New Year’s resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.” (Oscar Wilde). “You’ve always had the power, my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.”(The Wizard of Oz). Finally “An optimist stays up till midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”(Bill Vaughn)

Remember this admonition: “ When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man/woman, I gave up childish ways.”

Let’s put ways some childish notions for 2021:

“The Deep State”. The deep state is nothing more than people like you and I who go to work each day for some branch of any government. They work for a living and just do their jobs. They punch in at 7:45 am and punch out at 4:30 or so. Anyone who has worked for any branch of government soon comes to realize it is hard enough to get people together for a meeting much less plot against anyone.

“Stop the steal” and “election fraud”. If you truly believe that there is stealing or fraud at elections please become a municipal clerk or election official. Work the polls and see what truly goes on. Invest some time in the process and educate yourself to that process. The next elections in Wisconsin are Spring Primary Election, Tuesday, Feb. 16 and Spring Election Tuesday, Apr. 6. They are for local municipal elections and the State Superintendent of Schools. Should be a thriller!

COVID 19, Coronavirus or whatever you wish to call it. I think we have had more than enough of this particular disease. We will learn from it, study it and hopefully science can build upon what we already know about it to eliminate it and anything it morphs into. The vaccines are on their way and hopefully everyone will trust the process that created them.

The tell it like it is attitude as in “ I don’t want to offend anyone; I’m just telling it like it is.” 95% of the time we are just telling people what our opinion is, unsupported by any facts. We don’t need any more of that attitude. What we do need is a simple realization that sometimes it is just better to keep our thoughts to ourselves.

The current “every man/woman for himself” and America’s habit of “rigged individualism” I was attending a Zoom Class on the national problem of wildland fires. Several speakers from different regions of the country pointed out that no one wants to have the Government tell them what to do with their property but everyone who is harmed by a natural or manmade event would like government help.

Hopefully 2021 will bring out the adults in us. There is a saying that people should believe “ I’m no better than anyone else and nobody is better than me.” I believe that if more people believed that a lot of the worlds unhappiness would go away and life would be better. The Beatle John Lennon said “

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans”. So it does. Happy New Year.

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