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2013 New Year


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New Year of Life with Opportunities...

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2013 New Year

  1. 1. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!
  2. 2. Preface / IntroductionMoving into a New Year brings about Great Opportunities in Life...
  3. 3. Table of Contents1. Dont make New Years resolutions for yourself... make them for others. Its easier, more fun, lesstrouble.2. The tattered old year of 2011 limps off and the new year of our collective hope arrives. For thiswe need Vienna! We need Strauss II! We need to dance! And so we shall...3. Were starting up a brand new day... Im thinking in a brand new way. New Years Eve. 2012.Unbidden thoughts.
  4. 4. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!Dont make New Years resolutions for yourself... make themfor others. Its easier, more fun, less Dr. Jeffrey LantIts the time of the year for the obligatory New Years resolutions. You know, what I mean:I plan to go on a diet and become chic and svelte by Valentines Day.I will go to the gym every other day, so help me Hannah. Muscles and enticing curves, or bust.I will eschew the delights of eating one sugar-soaked Little Debbie after another.I will... but you get the idea.There is something abhorrent about admitting that you are imperfect. I dont like it at all.New Years resolutions imply that you have somehow fallen beneath the high standard of perfection,that there is something not quite right about you, a nagging something that needs instant attention.But what could that be?Like you, I look in the mirror of a morning and, despite advancing age, I see nothing but the spittingimage of one who is, indeed, the fairest of them all. It affronts me to think otherwise.Thus, while wishing to do my bit to uphold the traditions of Auld Lang Syne and making resolutions,I find it hard to do so... as I have nothing to improve and everything to enjoy.Hence this modest idea: give up resolution making for yourself... and focus your full attention uponthe others, lamentable, imperfect, with a pressing need for overhauls small and large.Draw up a list of persons known to you with glaring, jarring imperfections.Do not stint. Remember, you are performing a useful act, a noble act, and act of kindness andempathy. As such, let yourself go... think of your aging peers and their shocking habits... of yourrelatives who have outlived the excuse of "puppy fat."Think of your loud, too boisterous, ear-splitting friends... and the motor-mouths whose decidedopinions on everything under the sun are, perhaps, de trop.Think of the always-late delivery boy and those with too many unattended felines in a confinedspace and the olfactory discomfort thereby occurring.Think, I say, think of prevaricating politicians... and those with nookie on their minds and an acuteinability to contain it. Look around you and weigh in with a will...for you have many resolutions tocraft and far too little time in which to offer them. Timing is everything, after all, and New Yearsresolutions in March seem, well, tardy. Act now.Now write the New Years resolutions -- for others.This part could be troublesome and demands your full attention and craft. Resolutions must besimple, straightforward, honest and at least potentially do-able. Thus, calling your insufficientlyloved and abundantly padded brother-in-law fat just wont do. Try this instead:New Years resolution of brother-in-law Bob:To lose 15 pounds by months end. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 4 of 13
  5. 5. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!And then your signature and the date.Keeping your resolutions short, sweet, and to the point is de rigueur.Mail the resolution... email the resolution. Only ensure that your kind thought for their bettermentand perfection reaches them early in January.Imagine how grateful, how pleased the recipient will be when he of pronounced embonpointreceives this missive and its kind and thoughtful message becomes apparent.Send your New Years resolutions even to those near and dear who share your abode and are bosombuddies and dear companions on your earthly journey.The temptation, even for those expert and experienced in providing life enhancing New Yearsresolutions for others, will be to personally deliver, message upon hallmarked silver salver, yourresolutions to the people near at hand, spouse, children, impecunious sons in law, etc. You will thinkof their profoundly grateful responses, you will think of the affection and love in their eyes. You willhear with delight words so lavish and abject that even that practised purveyor of the obsequiousUriah Heep would be put to shame. No, you do not want to miss a moment.But you must.For your recipient will need a moment or two to compose himself and, no doubt, let fall the gratefultear, that you should care so much and have gone to so much bother on their behalf. Allow them amoment of reflection in privacy, as they think how grateful, how very grateful, they are to have sucha one as you in their (otherwise imperfect) life.Savor this moment, glass of grog at hand for you have done the very best of deeds. Sing under yourbreath this little-remembered chorus from Robert Burns immortal annual anthem of maudlinsentimentality, Auld Lang Syne:"We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine ; But weve wandered many a wearyfoot, since auld lang syne."And now, gratitude, indeed.As I was finishing up this practical report, there was a knock at the door... then the telephone rang...then I noticed a decided up tick in my email. I was not surprised... I was expecting such a deluge.After all, I had contacted many with a hearty abundance of resolutions, necessary, specific, in depth,all resoundingly honest to a fault. Now, no doubt, the expected responses, the epistles of gratitudeand fulsome thanks were at hand.Ou la la!Imagine my surprise upon reading the first of these messages:New Years Resolution of Dr. Jeffrey Lant...:signedyour loving sisterThen the one signed by my (concerned) brother, my (worried) father, one jointly signed by my (stillaffectionate) niece and nephew, my (who-else-could-tell-you?) best friend, my (long suffering)partners... even my (silent-until-now) driver and his wife.. .and all the very many others.It was jolting to be sure to learn that so many felt so strongly there was so much of me to enhance Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 5 of 13
  6. 6. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!and correct. But these messages, profoundly honest, stimulated the only New Years resolution Ishall make this year: to love them all, warts and all, and be profoundly glad I have them in my life.Happy New Year, 2011! Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 6 of 13
  7. 7. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!The tattered old year of 2011 limps off and the new year ofour collective hope arrives. For this we need Vienna! Weneed Strauss II! We need to dance! And so we Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. 2011. Not just a year or a moment in time. Rather, a collage of images thatrun the gamut from horrid to catastrophic. Except for lovers (who after all "Only have eyes for you,dear" and can always block out the world and its woes) this year will be hardly anyones best year.Havent we all seen better days? But the best of this disgruntling year is at hand... its end...And so, to mark the exit of this draining period of our human existence on our Third Rock from theSun, I propose... and expect you to do your part.... a Grand Ball. An event! Brilliant! Epochal!Soul-stirring! Memorable from first to last.... and lets not forget, graced by every friend youve everknown and loved... food to die for (how did they know you harbored a secret fancy for VeuveCliquot?) and of course the music that you will play for a lifetime whenever you think of this night!And of the music of Johann Strauss II who kept a doomed world dancing... even when life washardly worth living. Such a man with such gifts is more than welcome at the human comedy... he isessential; and I have commanded his presence just for you.That is why you must now go to any search engine and play the overture to "Die Fledermaus." Youwill find many fine versions. Your biggest problem this day will be selecting your favoriterendition... dont worry. Theyre all delightful... lilting... all fraught with love... adventures... and aworld without a wrinkle or a regret. Dont be late now.... your coach and six is awaiting... and thegreat imperial capital of Vienna -- with all its splendor -- is just outside your front door...!Vienna, 1874.I have found in my soon-to-be-65 years, that to know where you are -- at all times -- is a very goodthing. And so, I introduce you not just to a city but to an idea. For more than a place, this city ofcities was a notion. Other European sovereigns were part of dynasties that had capitals. But Vienna,only Vienna, was the home of an exalted family that had its own capital and an empire to go with it.This family was the Habsburgs... and Vienna was their pied-a-terre. Over time this family had addedlands, lost lands, traded lands, becoming less Italian, more Magyar and Slavic, but always (evenwhen you were stealing from them, as their neighbors regularly, flagrantly, unashamedly did)absolutely necessary to the prosperity, balance, and serenity of a Europe these Habsburgs understoodbetter than anyone and which they graced and venerated.1874 was a good year for these landlords of Europe... whilst it is true they had added nothing to theirvaluable patrimony; neither, and -- this is the key -- had they lost anything or anyone of anyimportance either. And this to the Emperor Franz Joseph and his people was reason enough tocelebrate; they had survived, and that to a Habsburg was something to cheer. For, after all, HisImperial and Apostolic Majesty (who was to become by the time of his extinction in 1917 the longestreigning sovereign in all of the European history his own family had done so much to make)believed with all his people, especially the true Viennese, that things were Significant, but notImportant... and surely not as important as the next waltz from Herr Strauss... the man who kept thismagic, unreal world entranced and dancing and so was crucial to the lives of all."I beg of you. Do not, lieber sohn. become a composer. Do not, I entreat you, throw your life awayon dance music."Johann Strauss II was born October 5, 1825, the son of Johann Strauss I, celebrated composer andconductor of dance music, a man who knew the (usually short) ups and (certainly the longer) downs Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 7 of 13
  8. 8. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!conductor of dance music, a man who knew the (usually short) ups and (certainly the longer) downsof a musicians life only too well... and wished to shield his dear son from these wearing vicissitudesof a musicians life... and become instead that most unappealing of things.... a banker. But fate wonout. One stolid banker the less there would most assuredly be... instead a million memorableevenings to warm the cockles of your heart forever. Yes, Strauss made the right decision. A lifetimeof unadulterated pleasure for the whole world was the result.1874 was a key year in his life and his repertoire, and it came with a musical called "DieFledermaus," The Bat.It was the compilation of comedies and farces by the German playwright Julius Roderich Benedix,French writers Henry Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, and a translation by Karl Haffner. There were,in short, too many cooks for this broth, and an explosive crop of.... egos, titanic, uncompromising,silly the lot of them, unless you must work with them like Strauss, who needed the patience andskills of a diplomat, so that his unmistakable genius could be born and dazzle. Had he been a bankerwith such skills he would have been an investors dream come true.Instead he was working as fast as his nimble brain could work, composing music which, I earnestlyhope, thrilled him as surely as it thrills us; which caused him to throw back his head and laugh aloudat his own fertile talent... and to pick up a chair or his wife and dance the latest captivating waltzwhich had been until a minute ago in his own head alone and was now written down and secure,soon to set the feet of this weary planet to dancing... every man, woman, and child, even that oddduck Crown Prince Rudolph (who sought in self-induced death the ecstasies even an empire couldnot deliver), all these were set to waltzing -- yes, even Rudolph -- by Strauss, Johann Strauss, theMaster of waltz tempo... who composed the love which cannot fail when you are in the arms of yourbeloved, whirring ardently to a blissful destiny.April 5, 1874, Theater an der Wien.In due course, "Die Fledermaus" was finished, neither French nor German nor even Austrian. It wasas quintessentially Viennese as Viennas Golden Boy could make it... It is bright, cheerful,distinguished by one memorable tune after another. It had masks (and no city needed them morethan Vienna which was only happy when in costume, looking back and reminiscing), false identifies,spurious titles, and an effervescence even greater than the champagne which Strauss alchemychanged from mere wine into a musical vintage which intoxicated but skipped the dreaded morningafter. This was a vintage indeed... and on April 5, 1874 it opened at the Theater an der Wien....... And has had absolutely no difficulty in getting into our hearts ever since... but especially on NewYears Eve, for it has long since claimed its unshakable place on the calendar of things which mustbe done annually, and always just so.That is why on this New Years Eve I shall have the pleasure to enjoy, yet again, the misadventuresof Gabriel von Eisenstein, his incompetent attorney Dr. Blind; Eisensteins maid Adele, PrinceOrlofsky and Falke, Eisensteins friend, and all the other characters, all immortal because of thegenius of one man who disobeyed his father and became the toast of Europe; a man who knew thatthe waltz, more than any Fountain of Youth, is what keeps us young, optimistic, recharging each ofus (and not a moment too soon) to face not just 2012 (with all that it brings) but of all the other NewYears to come.And now, I advise you to do what I am about to... starting my evening of good friends, good food,and yes of the Veuve Cliquot I crave... with Adeles celebrated "Laughing Song". In a moment youllbe smiling; a moment more youll be dancing...Happy New Year, from your author.... and from my esteemed Worldprofit colleagues George Kosch Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 8 of 13
  9. 9. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!and Sandi Hunter, so dear to me, I could not have had better people to have danced with for so manyyears.*** What are your thoughts on 2012, we invite your comments below. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 9 of 13
  10. 10. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!Were starting up a brand new day... Im thinking in a brandnew way. New Years Eve. 2012. Unbidden Dr. Jeffrey Lant.Authors program note. All of a sudden there was a bone-chilling gust of frigid air right off thepunishing Atlantic filling the night... it was the kind of gust we here in Cambridge call the MontrealExpress... not merely cold but gelid, polar, arctic... than which there is nothing colder but themorning after the greatest love of your life said good-bye, this time for good.Shivering, I had to get up... present reality, even though freezing, being preferable to another minuteof the dream being played out sharply in cinemascope in my brain. In it I was marrying HillaryClinton, and we were redecorating my condo as our love nest after a cosmic flood. Yikes, it wasindeed time for this article... and the music for it came swiftly out of no where saying, " I thinkyouve been looking for me." And indeed I had...I was smiling.... this was how Marley (in clanking chains of course) summoned Scrooge to hisdestiny... and look what happened to them. Im a literary gent, and I appreciated the reference... andthis song by Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, born October 2 1951, known to the world by hissobriquet "Sting", a name, a description, a declaration, a clear statement of what you must do whenthe world is too much with you late and soon. Yes, that Sting.I dont think much about Sting. Im not a rabid fan or anything close, but hes got the poets own wayof insinuating himself into my life at significant moments. His words are often mine fields, oftenverbal shrapnel, the kinds of words one fastidious word smith appreciates in another who like youdemands respect for the language and mastery from himself.Cold reality.My hands are cold... my fingers are stiff. It is 3:25 a.m., and Sting and his lyrical insights, melodic,as deep as you want them to go, fill the crucial space between two ears. I am listening, because hereis a man who has something important to say to me, about the year now past, about you and me, andhow were glad to be alive and give thanks to whoever made it possible. The song is called "BrandNew Day" and I hadnt heard it since it debuted in 1999, just in time for the new millennium.I remember hearing this song in this very room, where I sat at this very desk in this very chair as Iwatched the clock move inexorably to the first midnight of the new century, the Y2K midnight thatwas supposed to bring cosmic computer chaos, so admonishing experts had told us. And so I, like somany others, worried myself into the new year, following the advent of midnight around the globe...only to discover that nothing happened anywhere... the biggest "same old, same old" ever. Yes, Iwas listening to this song that night. It couldnt really be so many years ago, could it? Go now andfind it in any search engine and listen carefully...."Theres simply no immunity/Theres no guarantee."2012. I lived it. Which is to say I was alone, I was together, I made money. I squandered money. Ilied. I deceived. I was cruel. I was affectionate. I made messes and ignored them. I cleaned upmesses made by others who ignored them.I cursed. I adored. I slept the sleep of the just. I just barely slept at all. I did random good deeds... Iinsulted those who meant me well. I hugged strangers... and ignored those nearest and dearest. I atetoo much cake... and told others they shouldnt eat cake at all, then ate theirs.I knew the bite of the flesh... I abjured God... then went in panicked search of Him all over again. I Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 10 of 13
  11. 11. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!was magnificent. I was squalid. I was the best of friends and the most unrelenting and tenacious offoes.I demanded mercy and gave none. I wanted to make a difference and the difference I made wasminiscule and negative. I ate without savor. I loved without passion and thought well of myselfwhen there was not a single reason for so much conceit. I always took the easy way and had thetemerity to tell others they must sacrifice when I would not. I took, always took, more than myshare and bellowed that it was not more. I winked at injustice until I became an injustice.I hated. I condemned. I demeaned. I disdained. I hurt whenever possible and denied wheneverfeasible. I exulted in the misfortunes of others and laid the burden of mine at the feet of GodAlmighty whose name in vane passed often through my lips.I chose to misunderstand when understanding was facile... and blamed everyone but me on what wasso readily apparent to others but willfully ignored by me. And yet I never lost the deep belief that Iwas a hero to others, a paragon to myself.I was all this and more, I did all this and more in the tiniest morsel of time we call one year ... as if itwas something that could be neatly boxed and neatly understood. But even now this year, waning,its end in sight, abides... with possibilities still to come before it is played out, kaput, history we areglad to dispose of and forget, as if forgetting was even an option. It isnt."Turn the clock all the way back."How many hours of 2012, how many hours of your life have you now wasted wishing you couldregain even a single moment of time, to live it, savor it, even the most commonplace of activities? Itis natural to think so for our system is profoundly exasperating... you lived that moment. It is yours.You want it back. You must have it back. And so you expostulate against your fate, the inevitabilitythat defines us. You must go forward, only forward, never back no matter how badly you want it.and you know how badly that is.Right this minute, the sands of time are escaping through your open hands, hands you long to closeand stop the inexorable... but you cannot close them. And so, you experience the pain of certain lossthat defines each of us in a world that we live in, are destroying, but cannot stop and enjoy withoutanxiety.Each word you now read here takes you into a future that challenges us, a future we must engagewhether we want to or not. We stand alone before eternity... and it frightens us to our very core. Thatis why next year, the year after that. and all the next years to come you will fail to stand tall andcourageous before the vast immensity we call The Future and why instead we will take what comfortwe can from what our species is most expert at doing: dissipation, distraction, diversion, selfdestruction.Only by such devices can we face that which most concerns us... and so we are profligate about thetime which constitutes our essence. Sic semper gloria mundi.The only resolution that matters.At this moment of peril for each of us, all of us, for our planet and our Cosmos, for our very God,what are we offering to change our course and destiny? Some opt for trivial resolutions aboutincreased exercise and ways to diminish pounds. Others still seize upon any one or two of a myriadof possibilities to improve themselves, all petit, inconsequential, trifling, insignificant. Is this thebest we can do against the daunting, monumental challenges we face? We must do better. And whatbetter time to begin than now as a new year signals the commencement of a brand new day? Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 11 of 13
  12. 12. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!What then must we resolve and do? Just one thing: Love. For in this single thing there is everythingand everyone. Where we dismissed and condemned... we must love. Where we demeaned anddestroyed.... we must love. Where we insulted and hated... we must love. Where we divided andestranged.... we must love. And where we worked to rend asunder and alienate... we must love." Love is pain, I hear you say/Love has a cruel and bitter way of Paying you back for all the faithyou ever had in your brain."But its the only and certain way to start up the brand new day that dawns radiant this very day. Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 12 of 13
  13. 13. Happy New Year 2013 - Oh, Its Going to be Grand!ResourceAbout The Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small andhome-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lants live webcast TODAY andreceive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Lant is also the author of18 best-selling books.Republished with authors permission by Lance Sumner Copyright Lance Sumner - 2013 13 of 13