This article is the last one that I will write in 2014. So, happy new year to all in 2015.

Some in the past gave me this recipe for a meaningful new year.

Take 12 fine full-grown months. See that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor, hate and jealousy. Cleanse them completely from every clinging spite. Pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness. In short, see that these months are freed from all the past. Have them as fresh and clean as they come from the great storehouse of time.

Cut these months into 30 or 31 equal parts. This batch will keep for just one year. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many people spoil the entire lot this way). But prepare one day at a time as follows:

Into each day put 12 parts of faith, 11 of patience, 10 of courage, nine of work (some people omit this ingredient and spoil the flavor of the rest), eight parts of hope, seven of fidelity, six of liberality, five of kindness, four of rest (leaving this out is like leaving spices out of the salad — don’t do it), three parts of prayer, two of meditation and one well-selected resolution. Then put in about a teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a jigger of laughter, a sprinkling of play and a heaping cupful of good humor. Cook thoroughly in a fervent heat and garnish with quietness, unselfishness and cheerfulness, and a happy new year is a certainty.

Happiness depends on what we do with what we have or what attitude we have toward life.

A small town merchant ran for a political office and was soundly trounced. He polled so few votes he appeared ridiculous. He managed to turn the cards, however, by putting this sign in his store window: “$25 reward for the name of the man who voted for me.”

Everyone saw it and laughed. People congratulated him on his sense of humor and sportsmanship. The story of his sign went the rounds, with the result that people who he had never had for customers began to trade at his store.

He got a lemon and made lemonade.

May you receive the very best in 2015.

Ben Wright is a former prison chaplain and is a longtime Jackson resident.

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