It happens every year. The smiles, the handshakes, and the family get-togethers. The gifts, the goal-setting, the reviews, the time made for deep reflection. We feel a sense of passage, a sense of movement, possibly even a climactic transition from one moment to another.
Sometimes it’s a birthday or an anniversary or the remembrance of a historical date. Sometimes it’s the transition to a new year.
But what’s a date, really? It’s a system for tracking time, a system that a group of people agreed to use for communication. There isn’t only one system and this isn’t just the year 2011.
2068 (Hindu Vikram Samvat)
2554 (Thai solar)
Many of us have agreed to use the Gregorian calendar system, but does that really mean today or tomorrow holds anything special? In another calendaring system, today could represent the middle of the year, not the end. On another planet, all of these systems would become meaningless.
One year on Mars is actually 686 days on Earth.
One year on Pluto is 247 years on Earth.
Our entire concept of time only works on this infinitesimal blue dot, in the minds of people who agree to the systems in place. And yet every year billions of people are affected. They’re changed, moved, and motivated to act, think, and behave differently.
By what? A date? A thing that is entirely arbitrary?
No. We’re changed, moved, and motivated because we choose to be. The moment we choose is the moment it becomes reality. It has nothing to do with a number.
There’s no need to wait for an agreed upon date. You’re alive today. Let’s recognize today. Let’s choose to celebrate today. Let’s choose to celebrate now. Seize the moment, every moment. It’s new.