Community wishes and dreams for 2017
By Russ Edem 530News –
New Year’s resolutions have been around for a long time and over the years countless people have made these promises for many different reasons. This tradition is no different today than it was 4,000 years ago and Great Bend residents are preparing to follow it.
Before we learn what the people of Great Bend are making as their 2017 resolutions, lets take a step back into history and see where it all started.
According to the History Channel, the ancient Babylonians are said to have been the first people to make New Year’s resolutions, some 4,000 years ago.
During a massive 12-day religious festival known as Akitu, the Babylonians crowned a new king or reaffirmed their loyalty to the reigning king. They also made promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any objects they had borrowed. These promises could be considered the forerunners of our New Year’s resolutions.
A similar practice occurred in ancient Rome, after the reform-minded emperor Julius Caesar tinkered with the calendar and established Jan. 1 as the beginning of the new year circa 46 B.C.
Named for Janus, the two-faced god whose spirit inhabited doorways and arches, January had special significance for the Romans. Believing that Janus symbolically looked backwards into the previous year and ahead into the future, the Romans offered sacrifices to the deity and made promises of good conduct for the coming year.
For early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future.
New Year’s resolutions today are a mostly secular practice. Instead of making promises to the gods, most people make resolutions only to themselves, and focus purely on self-improvement.
While as many as 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals. But that dismal record probably won’t stop people from making resolutions anytime soon.
As people of Great Bend reflect on 2016, some have already made their resolutions for the new year and have shared them with the Great Bend Tribune.
“The Great Bend Police Department’s New Year’s resolution is to continue making Great Bend a safer place to live and raise a family,” Great Bend Police Chief Cliff Couch said.
“To pursue training and education in the ever changing practices encountered in the fields of fire fighting and EMS,” Great Bend Fire Chief Michael Napolitano said.
“To be more happy with life and to have more fun,” Great Bend Tribune Front Office Manager Loretta Russell said.
“My 2017 resolution is to qualify for the 2018 Boston Marathon,” Great Bend Tribune Graphic Artist Daniel Kiewel said.
“My New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to be more healthy and to exercise more,” Great Bend resident Stephanie Scheuerman said.
“We are emerging from a divisive year, both politically and socially, at the national, state and local levels. My resolution for 2017 is to do my part, as an individual and newspaper editor, to promote unity and tolerance. It is only at this grass-roots level will change happen,” Great Bend Tribune Managing Editor Dale Hogg said.
“In the coming year, I hope to find new ways to connect the Children’s Department with our Great Bend community. This will include new Makerspace activities, free art classes, and lots of new curriculum. Our library is looking forward to asking how we can help Build a Better World in our summer reading program,” Children’s Librarian Dayna Ball said.
“The Board of County Commissioners approved funds to add another detective’s position starting in January of 2017. Deputy Sheriff Bryan Volkel has been promoted to that position.
“I resolve to redouble our efforts to pursue the most dangerous drug dealers in Barton County: heroin and methamphetamine. If you’re dealing dope, we’re coming to see you,” Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir said.