Unpacking A Prosperous New Year
There was a time, not many years ago, when I might have begun on New Year’s Day by wishing you a happy and prosperous new year. I certainly wish you a happy new year, and hope that you do indeed prosper, but that needs some “unpacking”!
“To prosper” used to mean to be successful, to flourish, but, as we know, increasingly referred to doing well financially, as though that was the measure of success. For some, maybe, it is. But success and flourishing should not be so easily equated with financial prospering.
Perhaps one of the consequences of our British and western economic threats and problems is for there to begin to be a re-evaluating of success and prospering, and indeed of how we organize, or might organize, our kind of capitalism.
If instead of asking how successful a person is or how that success is to be measured, we asked whether or not she or he is “flourishing”, we might be given a different answer, even though essentially the question is the same one, although the emphasis is changed.
Given what is happening with our national debt and international trade and economic worries, most of us are unlikely to have a new year in which we prosper financially. But we can still have a year in which we prosper in the sense of being successful and flourishing. For that to happen, we shall need to be strongly in touch with the sources of that flourishing and well-being. Those sources are all about relationships: valuing and being valued; caring for others and receiving care; giving without counting the cost; serving rather than being served.
So I do very much wish and pray that you may have a happy, prospering and flourishing New Year, and that you may do so with your family and friends and others around you. Our prospering cannot happen in isolation. It needs the prospering of us all. May our streets, villages and towns flourish. May our communities become more caring, kinder and stronger. And may you and yours flourish. Have a great New Year!