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Editorial December 31st 2021

Welcome to this week’s editorial, Over the next twenty four hours or more we are going to be offered countless “Happy New Year” greetings. From friends, neighbours and family to those we pass in the street. From the day we are born we are reminded that the current day’s date is an ascending count from Day 1. Today’s date is little more than a continual reminder of how many days, months and years it has been since Jesus was conceived and born. Tomorrow will be 1 /01/ 2022 AD ("anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi", which translates to "in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ"). But what if you aren’t Christian? What year is it for non-Christians? Does anyone else on the planet have a different calendar? Under the Islamic Hijri Calendar, a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days, it is 26 Jumada Al-Awwal, 1443. Meanwhile the current year in Ethiopia is 2013. The Ethiopian year starts on 11th of September or on the 12th September in a Gregorian leap year. It is seven to eight years behind the Gregorian year owing to alternate calculations in determining the date of the annunciation of the birth of Jesus. My favourite is the Nepali Calendar. The current Nepali Year in Nepali is Nepali calendar 2078 due to the fact that their calendar is approximately 56 years and 8 and months ahead. In Nepal the new year starts from the middle of April. For those fortunate to have visited Nepal one of the best takeaways from the country is their expression “Ke Garne” that roughly translates into “it is what it is”. The road or path you are travelling on is cut by a landslide and might take a week to repair— “Ke Garne” The electricity has been cut and will stay off for some time—“Ke Garne” The cow has eaten the vegetables—“Ke Garne” As I reflect on the expression “Happy New Year” I remind myself of the images that go with it. Clocks, time, calendars… there is even a countdown as if we are willing the year that was to vanish as we “Welcome in the New Year”. There are hugs, kisses, the clinking of champagne glasses. But why do we stop at “Happy”? Instead of Happy why don’t we actually aspire to a bit more. Some attempt to by using alternates such as “Prosperous” but surely we can go beyond that as well. Surely we want more than just happiness and prosperity? How about wishing for a New Year that is fruitful, gratifying, productive, satisfying, valuable, worthwhile, edifying and fulfilling that is eco-friendly and sustainable and healthy? It is time to set the bar higher. For ourselves and our expectations. I think, for too long, we have said in our own way “Ke Garne”(it is what it is). Let’s see the year ahead, being 1443, 2013, 2022 or 2078, as the year we aspired to be more than just “Happy”. Until next—lei