Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2nd January 2008

The weather has suddenly turned cooling. It was still heat and sunny before the conclusion of 2007, but once the turn of the year has come, the weather has been milder and softer. Could there be a link between the collected inner temporal calmness and gratitude of humanity, and the outer reflection and projection of the environment? I certainly do not have an answer for it.

New Year's day. It is a day which I have never lost sight of, not only because it returns as a forceful reminder that I am still alive, and living in this world with a cause, it also generates interest in me in observing how people would come to welcome it. The live telecast of the counting down for 2008 at New York Times Square, flashed across my TV screen, showed happy faces of thousands, all gasping in breath as the New Year Eve Ball made its descent by every second ticked. As it finally descended to the back of '2008', the figure lighted up, churning sparks of flash lights and euphoria into the air. Many kissed and more hugged, with even a man on his knee and a ring in his hand. The bride-to-be could not contain her joyful tears any longer.

The world has once more been revived by her annual renewal of calender life.

It is at this point that I would always reflect upon myself: while I can certainly be part of this gigantic throng of happy people, counting down and making merry of this joyous occasion, what has gone in me that allow me to live through the year with a directed sense of clarity? Would I again be lost in the whirlpool of my own weaknesses, and shaping the surrounding, to eventually lead me to where I have promised to depart? Would it again be a 'full circle' and got me into problems which I am suppose to discard? Would I again be committing mistakes and errors that I have resolutely set to dispose, on the eve of this new year's day? My mind wonders as the clock ticks continuously. Time waits for no man.

It is also with such a thought circling in me that I welcomed January the 2nd. It is the birthday of my Mentor, Ikeda Sensei. While the first day of each newly arrived year belongs to the world, including every sentient and non-sentient beings, I deem it fit to see that the second day belongs to humanity. It is a day where humankind would feel joyous in welcoming it, for this day witnessed the arrival of a great human being.

Incidentally, the excitement brought on by celebrating the New Year's Day would seem short-lived and unsettling. After the party and songs, everyone returns to his/ her own usual social and family settings. The celebration of the birthday of a great human, on the other hand, brings on calmness and resolution: it brings forth one's determination to want to be that person, the courage to live that person's dreams, and the conviction to re-ignite that person's unwavering committment to a noble cause, what it may be.

It is, by and large, a celebration of echoing one's own inner fortress of strength and courage with that great human's. It is a celebration of life.

When all dust are settled and the world returns to her norms, what we have will only be the same economic, social, political and envrionmental conditions as the year before. What will be different will be the hearts and souls of those who have gathered a gushing of human spirits and strengths determined to making this brand new year a different one from the last. Perhaps it is here that lies the true meaning of celebrating a new year's day. It is from within that we ought to begin, and end with.

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