Here’s to Keeping an Open Mind in 2017!

An unlikely New Year's message from an old movie and an even older wisdom tradition. 

 
 

The subtext of many New Year's articles and letters for 2017 is "Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy year." Given the divisive politics of 2016, it makes sense to assume that the wisest course of action right now is to buckle up. There are teachings from classic movies and ancient wisdom traditions that point us in a different direction, though.

In All About Eve, Bette Davis plays Margo Channing, a brilliant but aging Broadway star, and Ann Baxter plays Eve Harrington, a conniving young actress who idolizes Margo. The younger actress insinuates herself into the life of the older one until Margo figures out that Eve is undermining her. It's then that she delivers the classic line, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night." Time and time again it seems as if Eve has gotten the best of her idol until, at the end of the movie, we see that Eve's life didn’t work out the way she had planned. What's the moral of the story? We don't know what will happen next, which is also the moral of my favorite Zen story, one about a father, a son, and a horse.
 
I don’t know what’s going to happen next year and neither does anyone else. But, regardless of what happens, my New Year’s wish for you is one that will be familiar to those who've worked with me before: 

Let's keep it simple,
Let's keep it fun,
And, especially now, 
Let's keep our sense of humor.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and joyful 2017!

Susan Kaiser Greenland

casey altman