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Postcard from the Past - Timeless Wisdom for a New Year

Written by Dick Perue

“Years merely life’s chapters” reads the headline for the New Year’s editorial in the Dec. 25, 1919 issue of the local newspaper. The sub-head adds, “Offer opportunity for each of us to write therein a record better than the preceding.”

Wisdom provided in that editorial follows:

“It is a great mystery that lies ahead, a treasure house of endless possibilities. The span of a man’s life is short, shorter in absolute measurement than the span of a year. 

“For each year, when October fades into November, has wrought completeness. No human life can bring completeness. It cannot bring completeness of knowledge or completeness of happiness or completeness of good works. 

“The best man can do, in his poor, limited way, is to glean as much wisdom and win as much happiness and do as much good as the number of his days permits.”

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In turning over a new leaf, be sure to lay a 1000-pound weight on it so it won’t fly back.

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The coming year is indeed a great mystery, full of possibilities. Whoever has not watched and studied the passing years may begin today; it is never too late. Whoever has long watched and loved the years will know that to his knowledge, however ripe, much will be added. He will advance a step nearer to the goal of contentment, and in so advancing will increase his human usefulness, his helpfulness.”

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Little old last year’s resolution’ is as good as any and probably will wear fully as long as a new one.

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“It is our wish that... for all who are suffering that the years to come may be happier and healthier and this year will be a good year. February will bring its crystal brightness. April will spread her feast of flowers. June will display her green perfection of beauty. August will offer the ripening grains. October the laden orchards. 

“The year will take no heed of the crime that has been done by man or of the vengeance that marched inexorably.”

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Day means much to all! New Years suggest intimate personal views of self. The annual crop of good resolutions shows how near most people are to becoming radically better. 

The day also brings a sense of the inexhaustible resources of life. It is the door into a wonderful future, new inventions, new discoveries, new achievements, of social justice and privilege and Joy for the masses of men.