Simon Schama wrote an excellent essay, "The Story So Far," for the Guardian, in which he reports on the decade, the noughties, from the point of view of an oracular, fully digitized historian named Sybil, a century from now. It is funny and bleak and, well, oracular. Schama is brilliant.
New Year's Day is the most important holiday in Japan. The Japanese New Year greeting is "Akemashite, omedetou gozaimasu!" which simply means "Opening, congratulations!" It started me thinking about opening, about being open to ideas and knowledge and possibilities, and about how hard this attitude is to maintain in daily life. So much comes at us in the course of a day or month or year, and of course it's impossible to take it all in. But I'm increasingly aware of how much I block out. I fool myself into thinking that I understand issues so I don't have to pay too much attention to them. My resolution this year is to try to notice, in particular, the things I think I understand, but don't, and then to learn about them. Happily, there's no shortage of material.