The new year gives time for reflection

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:36 a.m. CDT, Saturday, June 28, 2008

January has never been one of my favorite months.

  It’s not just because it’s usually cold and blustery and lurks right in the heart of winter, which is certainly reason enough for my distaste, but it is also a month which has few redeeming qualities. It has been spared total obsolescence, because it was lucky enough to have Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. born in the middle of it.

Otherwise, it’s one of those months that seems to amble across the calendar having no other purpose than to add filler to the year. Okay, okay, as a friend reminded me, a lot of other nice people were also born in January and so it gradually becomes painfully clear that I’m suffering from the winter blahs and what I need is an attitude adjustment.

Another optimist informs me that January is also considered the month of new beginnings. It’s a time when fresh starts are not only expected, but encouraged. Now that’s the kind of positive report that I can relate to. There are any number of areas where I can use a brand spanking new, jumping off point.

So, trust me to take full advantage of that piece of information, and I will begin with a personal note.

Throughout my childhood, I was constantly accused by my siblings of reporting their unsavory activities to our elders. Now that I am celebrating my twentieth year as a columnist, I am sure they realize that in my youth I was merely polishing the skills for my future career. In anticipation of my fresh start as the Little Sister of Unparalleled Discretion, I will accept the apologies of my siblings with open hands (I mean arms).

At the top of my list for an infusion of fresh stuff would be a desire to see the beginning of new political parties. Normally My hesitation lies in the fact that I have come to understand that the new generations of Americans believe that this country was founded on the two-party system and that its existence is protected by the Constitution.

Education by television has caused so much damage to our perceptions of government that I have serious doubts that it can ever be repaired. As we lose the battle against illiteracy, I have no expectation that the grip held on our society by the two-party system will ever be loosened. So, as much as I would welcome fresh blood in the political arena, I can’t foresee any possibilities in that area.

I’d like to participate in a new beginning for the Woman’s Movement, preceded by a thorough analysis of “What went wrong!?” Apparently, many of the causes that women fought for in that movement have been clearly misinterpreted.

Glancing at the covers of women’s magazines these days, one would almost believe that advancing the causes of sex and beauty were the principal reasons women sought equal rights. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth. But there is an important lesson to be learned here. Social change must be constantly monitored and nurtured, otherwise the best intentions go astray.

Television needs a fresh start. Industry executives need a new vision. There are so many truly wonderful contributions these folks could make to the world that it is almost criminal to see how these resources are squandered.

More than any other group, with the exception of doctors, these executives could make a decision to cure most of the world’s ills through education. They should ask themselves why more people watch the reruns than their new offerings. They need to learn the meaning of “offensive” and work hard to avoid committing such acts.

The cell phone companies need a new opportunity to learn the meaning of “stop.” There are just so many ways a telephone can be used or ought to be. Why not stop before you become deranged?

One of my favorite new beginnings is the one I’d like to see in women’s fashions. Among the first things I’d like to see is the return of maternity clothes and a willingness on the part of pregnant women to wear them. This has nothing to do with defining the birth experience.

Presenting the belly, swollen or not, for public inspection is probably somebody’s idea of an enlightening experience that should be shared with those who appreciate it. But, not all of us do. Some of us find it lubricious. Actually, some of us would like to see the return of body coverings, period.

People probably feel they have the right to walk around in various stages of nudity, but they should understand that public nudity is not something everyone finds appealing. Beauty, as they say, is truly in the eye of the beholder.

Well, I guess I should say “thank you” to January for the opportunity to get some things off my chest. If there’s one thing we all can use it’s a second chance. Not because we are likely to get it right the second time, but at least, it gives us time to break and get our bearings.

With that thought in mind, maybe we could put our heads and hearts together with new resolve to make 2005 the year we begin to put a stop to the violence which is overtaking our land. Can we please say “yes” to peace?

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at

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