22 August 2015

New Starts

It's the beginning of the school year for many young people these days.  Some are very young and are starting new grades in elementary school, while others are starting college or starting their second, third or fourth years in college.  For all of them, this is a new start, a new set of opportunities to learn and to grow and to make more of themselves.  They're going to be leaving behind the people they were in order to grow into being someone else.  Perhaps they'll change their perspectives on some things, and maybe they'll discover new things that they love and want to spend more time doing or studying.

All of them have in common the fact that they're starting out in something new.  They're meeting new people and they're studying new material.  They're going to be thinking about new things or thinking about old things in new ways.  And they have their new starts because that's where they are in life--at an age at which our culture pretty much makes a new start mandatory for them.

But what about the rest of us?  When was our last new start?  How often do we give ourselves the opportunity to start all over again, to meet new people and to learn new things?

There are many ways we can do this in our lives.  We can join a new club or group, or we can start a new habit, like going to the library for a couple of hours each week or taking new walks along new routes where we'll see different things and different people.  We can sign up for a class in some topic that we've always wanted to learn about, or we can register at a college for a degree program.  In any of these cases, we're bound to meet new people and learn new things.

New starts are sometimes out of our hands--if the company we work for transfers us to a new city, guess what?  But sometimes they're a matter of making up our minds to shake things up a bit and start something new on purpose.  And as long as we do so with the willingness to let things unfold as they will--in other words, without artificial expectations of how things are supposed to turn out--our new starts can bring new richness to our lives.

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