New Year’s Eve rings in a time of reflection
by Chris Collett, columnist
December 27, 2013 11:00 PM | 1431 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Chris Collett<br>Columnist
Chris Collett
Columnist
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Christmas is behind us and the New Year is just ahead. There are many out there who will make some sort of resolution that may or may not last until spring.

Gym memberships will increase greatly over the next few weeks. However, history shows us that most will drop off in a matter of weeks. But I guess some workout is better than none.

It is a time to think about those who are no longer with us. And we enter the next year knowing that if we do make it another 12 months, there will be some that won’t. I guess dying is just a part of living. It reminds me of the saying that “everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

There is nothing wrong in my opinion with that way of thinking. Even as Jesus was praying in the garden he prayed, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I wilt, but as thou wilt.” So if Jesus had a desire to keep living, I feel sure it’s OK for us to do the same.

In every 12-month period, we experience the different seasons. And just as some will not be with us in 12 months, there will be others that are born to bring us joy much like the newness of spring. It’s the cycle of life.

When you get right down to it, it’s not really about the beginning and the end. It’s about what we do in between that defines us.

New Year’s Eve is a time when we reflect on the past year and look forward to the year ahead. Lots of folks will celebrate the holiday with friends and family. The bars will be full and there will be parties in virtually every neighborhood. It has to be the busiest day of the year for alcohol sales. It has been that way for as long as I can remember.

There is something else that happens on New Year’s Eve that has happened for as long as I can remember. The law enforcement presence on the roadways will be significantly more than on a regular day. It has been that way and I suspect will always be that way. Who doesn’t know this? How can any adult in America not know that this is the way it is?

With all of this information in hand, it never fails to amaze me at how many people are locked up on New Year’s Eve for driving under the influence.

The jails will be full of people that ignore the warnings about drinking and driving. Now obviously it is bad on any day for people to drive after drinking too much. But to do it on New Year’s Eve is one of the most questionable acts I can think of.

Now, there is no doubt that people make mistakes. We all do. Some days we do better than we do on other days. But if you drink and drive on New Year’s Eve and get arrested, it is likened to swimming in a pool of sharks and being surprised when you get bit.

It could also be like standing in the rain and wondering why you’re getting wet. Do you get my point? It’s not rocket science. If it was, I wouldn’t understand it.

I hope that you will heed this warning. If you drink and drive on New Year’s Eve, the odds of you going to jail will be considerably greater than on a normal night. And we can’t blame law enforcement; they tell us what they are going to do. They aren’t doing espionage. They are up front about it. They are up front about it because many of them have seen the horrific aftermath on our roadways. Seeing things like that changes a person.

So many people have lost their lives to accidents that occurred when someone was drinking and driving. Those lives can’t be restored no matter how sorry the person is that caused the accident. They are gone forever.

It is my hope and prayer that everyone will have an enjoyable New Year’s Eve regardless of how you decide to spend it. May we all reflect on the many wonderful blessings we have.

My blessings are many and undeserved.

Old people like me almost always choose to ring in the New Year in front of the television. It’s safer.

Happy New Year!

Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.
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