Reflections on Life and Leadership: In Praise of Old Things in a New Year

There is something about a New Year that fills us with hope and reminds us of our potential. New things excite us. New jobs. New cars. New house. New clothes. But what of the “old?”

There is great truth in the Apostle Paul’s words, “the old things have passed away,” and many old thing should so pass. But should we not relish the “old things” that are of genuine value? A new puppy is great fun, but an old dog is a comfort and source of companionship in ways a puppy can never be. He is no longer bouncing about, yet his deep affection and loyalty has become a much deeper thing. A new house becomes a home when it has been scuffed, scratched, and marred having been filled with the memories of the lives lived within it. Old clothes, the ones we are wont to let go of, are those that we know fit us best, allowing us to move comfortably, to reside in our own “skin” without concern. We keep old tee shirts far past their fading and wear because they remind us of a time, a place, or of people we love. Old friends know us best. They have seen us in times of fear, defeat, and at our worst. Yet they remain beside us.

Learning to celebrate the “old” things can mean we are finding contentment with ourselves, with our purpose. Some call it “wanting what you have” but it is more than mere asceticism. New things are shiny and fun. But the constancy, the enduring quality of the “old things,” can fill us in ways we never understand unless we take the time to cherish them.  As leaders, in life and business, we must recognize the value of the old things if we are to respond to the challenges of a New Year.

Keep the faith!