Maybe 2014 is time to pull up our socks

By ELLEN MARTIN

With all the Christmas decorations stored more or less until next year, it is now time to log in the new year along with a resolution or two. Mine will include no more stuff to dust, no more need of numerous batteries, no more being place on hold, and no more, "I'll get back to you."

Being unmechanical in this age is not an easy cross to bear. Being of the female gender, from my long ago generation, girls were still in the kitchen learning to cook and clean while boys drove a car or tractor and repaired machinery. I did have an aunt who could crank a Model-T and drive.

In World War II, young men who never went beyond the eighth grade are credited with being able to repair a broken down weapon of war, on the field of battle, when it was necessary. Albert Einstein considered imagination a key asset to innovation.

Even now, I miss the full-service filling station that also sold a Firestone Christmas long-playing record for $1 during the holidays. "So life is now a bit difficult," Linus tells Charlie Brown in the "Peanuts" strip, but upbeat Charlie Brown tells Linus he has developed a new philosophy: "I only dread one day at a time."

This year will go on much as the old one, as Jane Austen wrote with "nothing worse than everyday remarks, dull repetitions, old news and heavy jokes."

It is well to be prepared for whatever one may meet in a new year, and hopefully be able to make the right decision. The best made plans, whether of men or mice, may be nothing more than a way to get around problems no one wants to tackle or solve. With leadership that tiptoes around a problem or leads from behind, the cause can be lost.

The world will long remember Nelson Mandela and his leadership in the struggle to eliminate white-glove apartied in South Africa.

In this new year, taxes will be paid even as the Internal Revenue reports $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds made last year. This, in spite of Google chairman Eric Schmidt, who wrote, we uncover as much data in 48 hours as humans gathered from the dawn of civilization to the year 2003 (1,800,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes in the Christian Science Monitor.

In his poem "The Rock," by Eliot asks, "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"

On the brighter side, in "The Economist" Americans are told to quit moping and pull their socks up. America is still a key player in the world.

Maybe for us in the new year, or any year, it is best to just remember, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." Happy New Year.

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