Reading ‘Mungo Makes New Friends’ to my 4 year old, she said at the end,
“Poor Fox. He was just wanting to make friends!”
And that took a totally new perspective on the story.
So I started to think of resolutions, one being not to make judgements too early. You could lose friends. And new year, new beginnings, new meetings... we could remind ourselves of resolutions.
It’s thought that people have been making New Year’s Resolutions for over four thousand years. The Romans were known to make offerings to Janus, god of January, and promise they would do good deeds in the year ahead. Janus had two faces, and was a very unusual god, in that he could look both backwards and forwards, to the year that had just ended, and into the future.
For many people, a new year means a new beginning. And every year in January, people make all kinds of New Year's Resolutions. Some people resolve to eat less chocolate or fewer sweets and cakes. Others decide to take more exercise or to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, or to get out in the fresh air more often. It’s also common to think about meeting new people, starting an evening class, or taking up a new hobby or sport in the hope of meeting and making new friends.
For many people, getting on better with their family and existing friends is also an important part of their New Year’s Resolutions. This might involve helping around the house more, or with the cooking or gardening, or just trying to be more cheerful.
At this time of year, looking after our friends, and making sure they’re okay, is especially important. After the excitement of Christmas, people go back to their daily routines, relatives go back to their own homes, and the weather can get ferociously cold and icy. The friendly gesture of checking on our neighbours can go a long way to make them feel that someone cares, especially if they’re elderly or their families are some distance away. Sometimes neighbours may even go on to become friends. After all, there are no rules - friends come in all shapes and sizes.
Since life is always better with friends around, it’s a good idea to put effort into maintaining our existing friendships as well as making new ones. If you have made resolutions for the New Year, your friends can also help you keep your promises – whether it’s to help with the household chores, finish all the vegetables on your plate at mealtimes, or just make the world a better place with a cheerful smile or two.