So we are a little way into the New Year now, so I think the coast is clear for me to do a post about the New Year. Not mine specifically, but the event in general. Don’t worry; this isn’t a rant about excess or anything like that. It’s an observation, nothing more, nothing less.
A good number of years ago, I remember that on occasion, when sending Christmas and New Year greetings, it was not uncommon for people to put in cards, or verbalise for people to have a ‘prosperous’ New Year. It was over the holiday period that it occurred to me that this was something that I had not heard passed on for a very long time. Obviously, at a loose end, this then sent me thinking about why.
I wondered whether there is a chunk of it is due to the nature of what people may think is meant by prosperous. I would hazard a guess that when people use the word prosper, the immediate connection people make is with that of money. Thus, to wish someone a prosperous New Year is to wish them well in terms of finances. That being the case, I can understand the term not being used. Given the world financial situation for many, it could come across badly, especially for people who struggle to get by.
Connected with the money aspect is the view of the materialistic. I’m not going to make a comment of materialism in this blog, but many feel uncomfortable with the materialism of the age and if prospering is connected with money, then again, I can see how it would not be many people’s favoured greeting.
While I’m not going to argue those two understandings are wrong, I would say that they do only show a very limited use of the term prosperous. For me, I believe that you can be prosperous in a whole range of things that have nothing to do with money or a materialistic capacity. I feel that this fact has been lost for many. I prefer the wider view of being prosperous. One that focuses on definition of prosper as ‘flourishing’. This can therefore cover a wide range of things, one that can mean something different to everyone and in that respect could become a somewhat unique greeting for each.
So, with that in mind, all be it half a month in, I would like to wish you all a prosperous New Year.