12/29/2014 10:16 am ET Updated Feb 28, 2015

I Will Not Wish You a Happy New Year

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I will not wish you a happy New Year, because in truth you will not have an entire year of happiness.

Things will happen that make you sad -- a breakup, a death, the loss of a job or worse.

That's okay, because it is the sad times that allow us to appreciate the happy ones.

No one appreciates a good meal more than a child who has known hunger.

No one appreciates a warm bed more than one who has slept on the streets in the harsh winter.

No one appreciates the love of a spouse more than one who grew up in a loveless household.

It is the way of the world. Those periods of happiness we do experience are made sweeter by the times when we are not happy. What I wish for you instead is the empathy required to give happiness to others. I wish you to free yourselves from racism, rather than pretend it does not exist. I wish you to share any abundance you have with those who have less.

I wish you a year of making our horrifically corrupt world a better place. If you do that I can guarantee one thing: Any happiness or abundance you share will in fact increase your own joy. Helping others allows us the opportunity to appreciate what we do have.

That is about as close to a "happy New Year" as you are going to get.

Appreciate it and stay in the moment, because it is over all too soon.