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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

A new year provides a great opportunity

Posted Thursday, January 21, 2010, at 3:21 PM

A recent poll indicated that the movie "Hoosiers" was voted as the best sports movie of all times. Polls are biased because the only people who can vote are living now. Humans tend to focus on the present and forget those who lived a generation or two ago. Teachers, musicians, athletes, writers, military leaders, actors, clerics, doctors of two generations ago are forgotten unless they were extraordinary. That's the way it is.

The movie "Hoosiers" is beloved because a small town school won the state basketball championship with a lovable group of overachievers. But the movie is really about people who received a second chance: The former college coach who punched a player was fired and then spent time in the military is given a second chance to coach albeit in a bottom rung job; the two players who quit the team then were allowed to rejoin and start afresh; the assistant coach who battled the beverage "who shot John." We like second chances and sometimes demand them.

The New Year is viewed as a time for second chances. Some people make New Year's resolutions as an attempt to change some aspect(s) of their lives. Fresh starts are appealing to all of us as we can quickly delineate a long list of things we would do differently if given another opportunity. I can think of many decisions I have made that I regret. How many times have you heard someone say, "If I knew then what I know now" ... truth be told we have all made that statement.

"If you had your life to live over what would you change?" is a familiar inquiry oft used as discussion starters or in everyday conversations. I am always dubious of those who reply, "I wouldn't change a thing." I find that impossible to accept. There are many chuckholes in the road of life that I would avoid the second time.

The new year is a good time to prime the pump of change and refresh your life with the cool, flowing waters of transformation and modification. There is no secret. You must want to change then resolve to change and do it. As Yoda said, "Either do it or not do it. There is no try."

One of the aspects of the human existence is that we strive to understand the world and how it works. After we think we understand then another issue rises like the Phoenix Bird and we have to change again. I have observed in my 14 lustra that few people want change except a baby with a dirty nappy and he wants someone else to do it.

I see the turning of the calendar to 2010 as a big deal. Doesn't the idea of a clean slate appeal to you too? Doesn't the chance to start over sound great? Don't make a long list of resolutions, but let go of yesterday's problems, today's trouble, today's stress and loss. Today is an opportunity. Create new things out of the waste and void and chaos of the past and life will become fresh every morning.

(A note to former Calvertville citizens. I have secured a short, color video of Calvertville, circa 1950, courtesy of Gary Martindale. I will supply copies to all who reimburse me for my costs. Let me know.)

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Larry Vandeventer
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