The Wonder of Our Youth

The New Year is once again upon us. Wow, did time fly or what. Didn't we just do the New Year thing? What happened to the year 2004? Is it me or is life starting to pick up speed. Like many of you who have been around for awhile, I am convinced that time passes quicker as we age.

Here I sit, pounding the keys on my computer. It is New Year's Eve and I am sitting here at home wondering what makes a New Year so special. Heaven knows that I have seen my share. Yet I still wonder what makes a New Year special.

I have just finished watching Richard Dreyfus perform as Glenn Holland in that magical 1990's movie, Mr. Holland's Opus. As the movie unfolded, so too did the life of this fictional man who made a difference in the life of so many of his students. This move was an enjoyable a mixture of joy, sorrow, and pathos. The manner in which Holland's life unfolded seemed to me to be so much like real life itself.

He faced the same trials and tribulations that you and I face every year. We see thirty years of his life pass in front of our eyes over the course of the two-hour movie. Mr. Holland entered the world of teaching reluctantly. It was just a way to pay the bills until he connected as a composer and musician. By the end of the movie, he literally had to be dragged away from that profession he had come to love.

Is it that way for you? Did you wander through the door of your firehouse by accident and end up spending you life in the station? That is how it started for me back when I flunked out of college in 1966.

Life for Mr. Holland was not easy. As the New Years came and went he was forced to face life's challenges, just like you and I. Whether it was the lack of money he and his wife faced, or it was the challenge of raising a deaf child he carried on with a certain quiet dignity. He plugged away at his profession and in the process changed a lot of lives.

Is it that way with you? I get a great deal of joy from what I do. Maybe I have even helped one or two of you over the years. That is a great thing.

Mr. Holland overcame the curveballs that life tossed him and ended up changing a lot of lives. Of course it was just a movie. Life isn