I Dare Say – Happier New Year (12-31-42)

The Pittsburgh Press (December 31, 1942)


Happier New Year

By Florence Fisher Parry

When we were young, we wished on the moon and made solemn New Year’s Resolutions. But as we grew older, we came to know that the moon was withdrawn and indifferent, and that New Year’s Resolutions were like other fond dreams: unrealizable; too perfect.

The important thing we came to know, was the aspiration that lay behind our wishes and our dreams, and that it is Heaven, instead of Hell, that is paved with good resolutions. What matters most, it seems to me, is that we want to be better; is that we want to be better; is that we yearn for a perfection beyond our power to achieve.

So now, when the New Year rolls around again, and find ourselves too wise to make resolutions knowing full well that they won’t be kept, we know that this does not mean that we are any less fine than we were when we wished on the moon, and sat down and listed, as children, our neat little new resolutions.

But there is something about this New Year that is different from all others we have ever known. We feel the need of some concrete touchstone, some definite reaffirmation of faith and intention. And I think that all over the world today people are signing, within themselves, a pledge of some kind or other.

My own is very terse, and simple, and as far as I am concerned, all that I can hope to manage. It is:
To keep well, work hard and face it.

It covers all the ground I am able to travel.

Now in order to put a seal on the pledge, I resorted to a very simple device when I was up home and which I offer to you; for I have found it to work when other devices fail.

Go if you can to the grave of some loved one from whom you can well take example. Your father, perhaps your mother, your husband or wife or child.

And standing there, immersed to the memory of their example, you will find the strength to make and the strength to keep your new resolution, whatever it may be.

It might be thought that this year more than any other, would be the hardest to face. Suspense and all the other agonies of separation and uncertainty have entered nearly every home in America.