Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

Published 9:22 am Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Many people rang in the new year by belting out loudly the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” a song few know more than the first verse to, “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?”

I’ve always been interested in this verse because it’s a rhetorical question asking if it’s right to forget the old times.

The rest of the song is referring to friendships, but let’s for a minute forget about that and look at it more literally.

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Should we forget the old times?

There are many of us that would probably look forward to forgetting about 2017, with the hope that 2018 will be better.

I remember having this same thought at the end of 2016.

To be sure, this year has not been easy for some, and it seems as if everyone has something they can say ruined it.

Some would point to politics, others the economy. Some might say the popular culture of the times didn’t help or that change in general has had a negative effect.

Between mass shootings, natural disasters, terrorism, etc., 2017 has had many, many events that soured the entire year, just like 2016.

That being said, an argument could easily be made that 2017 was a good year.

This is my argument. Despite all the bad that has happened, the good outweighs it and the year is only truly bad if we forget all the good.

Personally speaking, I like to remember all the bad that has happened in the past year. This gives me both something to hope won’t be repeated and a lesson on what mistakes I should avoid.

As philosopher George Santayana wrote in “The Life of Reason,” “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

This should be our guideline for the next year. We should take everything that happened to us in 2017 and use it to ensure that 2018 will be the best year possible.