“Happy New Year” slips off the lips spontaneously and wishfully and with varying degrees of sincerity. It is exchanged between family members, close friends, neighbours, customers and shopkeepers, and strangers. It can be simply a seasonal courtesy as much as a genuine desire for the other person. Perhaps the level of authenticity in this greeting is determined by how well you know the recipient, how much you care for the person, how earnestly you yearn for the next year to be a year full of happiness for the receiver. But that’s too much to consider when simply saying the equivalent of an ‘hello.’
“Happy New Year Derek.”
I wonder how that sounds to Derek. Like the rest of us, he may not reflect upon it, because his almost involuntary response may be to return, “and Happy New Year to you.” There is no reflective time within the exchange itself, and then the conversation veers off to something else or life’s duties demand attention. “Happy New Year,” is mere rhetoric, a gesture of good manners, of friendliness and of good business.
For the expression to actually be more than this, perhaps the speaker must know the recipient’s story, the history of the past year, the challenges to be faced in the new year. Perhaps the speaker must empathize with the recipient’s losses, broken heart, feeling of helplessness, bottomless agony. Perhaps the speaker must informatively speculate what will be required in the new year to turn life around so convincingly that happiness is the lasting and unmistakable result.
1 Help Bring Little Autistic Girl back to Daddy) and (2 Justice for Ayn), and plan various events and campaign efforts and even pray to God to gain her release from the Ministry of Children and Family Development foster care and her return to her father and her family.
We know of what a happy new year consists for Derek.
With utmost sincerity, I join the crowd of kindhearted advocates for Ayn’s return to Derek’s arms, in saying,
"HAPPY NEW YEAR DEREK!"