Home African Caribbean Happy New Year to all the readers of caribdirect.com

Happy New Year to all the readers of caribdirect.com

by Tony Kelly
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2024  as a new year has arrived and marks the beginning of a new dawn, new era and new awakening.  Some of us are old enough to remember the start of the millennium when we said goodbye to the nineties  or the 20th century and here we are in the 24th year of the 21st century.  The proverbial saying ‘time flies’ takes on a different meaning as it really has.  Of course millennium babies  and others born since then would not have  a clue about the many adjustments that were made across the world  especially to computer equipment  in order that the year 2000 was recognisable on  various electronic systems after being so accustomed to the 1900s. The one that springs to mind is reading about  planes flying as 1999 ended and 2000 begun, the theory was that they could  literally drop out of the sky. Of course that did not happen with a great deal of preparation beforehand across the entire world.

I wonder if people can recall where they were in terms of seeing in the new century. As a family we made the choice to ring  in that new year for what was indeed a special  time with family in New York and  it is firmly etched in my memory. Cast your mind back to how you welcomed in that  once in a life time moment which only happens every one hundred years as I am sure you will remember it .

Old Father Time has certainly not waited around as the years go by at such an incredible  speed  especially due to the advances in digital technology, social media, modes of travel, etc and the fast pace of life in general is sometimes hard to keep up with. Put another way, as the famous English writer Geoffrey Chaucer  said  ‘Time and tide waits for no man’ or to be politically correct ‘no one’.  The advent of artificial intelligence  with its pros and cons  is rapidly  emerging to increase the speed  of real time.  That is why I am an advocate for  ‘me time, down time, relaxation time, family time’ as one has to periodically come off the revolving treadmill and not let the modern way of life  be all embracing and all consuming.  There has to be in particular a suitable work-life balance between work and leisure pursuits and not having to constantly literally watching the time by way of a watch, clock or nowadays the mobile phone device. Simply put, time to chill out is to be encouraged or putting one’s feet up and leave the ‘rat race’ of scurrying around. We are after all human beings!!  Whilst on the subject of time it is only a few years ago that I discovered most children and young adults have no idea how to  tell the time on a  standard watch or clock because they either have a digital one on their wrist or use their electronic devices. This is one reason to bring back the good old days when one had to from an early age be able to tell the time by way of a 12 hour or 24-hour clock or watch.

New Year’s resolutions are made by some whilst for others it is the bane of their life as they are so  readily and easily broken.  I choose not to make any with a take of  ‘a promise is a comfort to a fool’. Some people often feel so guilty when their resolutions fail which just adds to their misery.

Rituals and cultural myths abound and are often enacted  as the old year ends and the new one begins. Readers know of some which  are far too many  to address here but one thing is sure, time does not stand still and we all have to adjust and cope with it in the best way possible.  A classic example of making better use of one’s time is seeing click baiting articles or videos  on some social media websites which  I tend not to read or view, preferring instead to look at a few of the comments which in essence have saved me valuable time. As some people like to mention in their responses to what they have read,  that is so many minutes of their life  that they cannot get back.  Having said that I hope that is not the case with my fortnightly articles which I try to make as thought-provoking and informative as possible. I will leave you to be the judge of that and end by wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly

London born Tony Kelly of Jamaican parents grew up in Jamaica and returned to live in Birmingham in 1979.
He is a graduate of Mico Teachers’ College and taught in Kingston high schools prior to working for 30+ years as a middle manager in central and local government with an emphasis on equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. He has a masters’ degree in socio-legal studies from the university of Birmingham.
For over a decade Tony has volunteered as a diabetes ambassador firstly for Diabetes UK and now for the National Health Service – Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group. A multi-award winner doing a yearly average of 150 health and well-being events, locally, nationally and internationally focusing on type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with this medical condition 18 years ago. However with a combination of physical activity and diet he has never taken medication thus proving with the right mindset and discipline it can be achieved.
As a diabetes advocate/activist Tony will continue delivering the message of healthy options to readers of CaribDirect.com .


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