In every wish, there will be glimpses of kind virtues, to encourage and console.

It could be something modest or even mundane, something fantastic or utterly practical. It can take you to the other side of the world or a walk around the corner.

Wishing makes it  easier to believe in happiness than pain — be it from daydreams, fantasies or castles in the air; to aspirations which drive us forward and impel us to make things happen. It can also be from recognizable goals to grand pipe dreams, and everything in between.

Looking into our record of wish lists, we realize how they reveal a lot of ourselves. Our wishes come straight from the core — it is about who we are or who we can become.

A energetic wish list propels us to go after our happiness, whether in doing something generous or something for yourself.

It sets our goals from January 1st  to our achievements by December 31st.

There’s the wish to accept my life for what it is and to embrace it; live within my limitations; identify what really is my mission in life.

To experiment with life by mixing ingredients and trying new formulas, accepting that pain and disappointment are parts of life but don’t diminish it.

To acknowledge my weakness as I try to lower my life’s expectations.

To stop being judgmental, overcoming all the sorrows life may have in store for me; to stop rudeness when I see it or when I do it.

I wish I could write my novel before I’m 80, and win respect for what I am and not for what I’ve done.

As I try to see through the images of those around me, I’ll concentrate on the substance of their inner quality,  conquer and put my faith in reason — if I could ask God one important question.

I wish I could speak more eloquently, with my actions more than the intelligence of words.

I wish I could repair one’s broken heart, overcome difficulty in a relationship and leave a legacy of good feeling.

I wish I could mind my own business, overcome my impudence, know  what I can overlook by creating rather than complaining.

I wish for clear judgment before the allure of words, to beat my deadline and not to give grief to my editor.

I wish I could look good without make-up, confront anxiety with grace and humor, and do laughing meditations.

I wish I could not just meet but exceed expectations of people I love.

Your wish list is the accumulated profile of your changing views  of happiness, your own evolving values and your own fulfillment.

I wish all my wishes could come true  –  and be careful of what I wish for.

The New Year was paddled across America in the traditional sounds of noisemakers and fireworks, which mingled with the ringing of the bells and signified merriment, joy and hope.

In Afghanistan,  young soldiers stood in frozen vigil at some lonely shore this New Year. They wished that they, too, could be home and join the New Year revelers.

It is also during the  New Year I feel the deepest moments of gratitude for these young men and women, dripping with weapons. I wish they, too, could be home — sipping cider by the fire.

But if there is something very clear about New Year’s, we can all look on the brighter side and celebrate hope — the lengthening of each day from this point promises the vital return of spring.

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