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This essay by Dan Rather, "Another Circle Around the Sun" is a good way to start the new year.

Another circle around the sun

A time to take stock, and fill stockings.
To mark abundant candlelight, and dwindling sunlight.
To look backward, and forward, and backward once again.

We remember those who have passed.
And the headlines that captured our attention.
People and moments now rooted in history.

There are lists, so many lists. Of what to buy, and for whom.
Of the best movies, best books, and best music.
There are resolutions for the future, even though we know most will not be kept.
Regardless, we have hope.

But perhaps most important of all, the end of the year should be a time for gratitude.

For if we are true to ourselves, we know that much of what we were able to accomplish in the year that is ending could not have occurred without the love and support of others.

We humans are social creatures, and most of us would not last very long on our own. Science has shown that social support improves both our health and life expectancy.

We rely on each other for the basic necessities — like sustenance and shelter. Unlike other animals, who emerge from the womb able to walk or swim, we are largely helpless for many years, depending on others to nurture us.

That is one definition of what it means to be human.

The very bonds of our common humanity — our intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and moral lives — are forged in relation to others.

We thank our teachers, formal and otherwise, who guide our learning through life.
We thank those whose jobs it is to keep us safe, even at danger to themselves.
We thank the helpers, in every nook and cranny of this great nation and broader world, who lighten the burdens of others.
We thank the artists who inspire us. And make us laugh and cry.
We thank those who work in the shadows, without whom there would be no light.
We thank coworkers who urge us forward.
We thank friends and family who provide support on days of struggle and heartbreak.

And we thank you, the Steady community. In a world of great need, it is a gift to have a place for empathy and understanding.

When we think of A Reason To Smile, with December quickly receding along with 2023, we think of all the reasons to say thank you and all the people worth thanking.


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