Happy New Year

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Happy New Year

Best wishes for a nice, inspiring, healthy and happy 2017 are flooding us; on postcards or funny modern media. We wish all the best to our friends, family, colleagues and whomever we meet in shops or on the street. New year is a time for reflection, going back to family and friends for a while. To dwell on the unrest in many countries. A moment of getting away from the tough reality of our work and our lives. A kind of shelter to get back on breath. When we come back after January 1 and we have stowed or thrown away all wishes, we get back to normal live. As if nothing has changed. That isn’t needed!

According to Aristotle happiness is a possession that all people desire for their own sake. Happiness is not a tool but an end in itself. It’s a moral virtue, the happy medium between two extremes. He shows braveness as an example: A virtue between cowardice and rashness. Aristotle was a realist who based his knowledge on observation, description and interpretation of reality.

In the fight against corruption and abuse of power we also indicate wrongdoings, when they are not in line with our moral standards. It literally makes us unhappy. We want to straighten it. The Belgian Muslim Mohamed El Bachiri gives us an inspiring example. In 2016 he lost his wife, mother of his two children, in a terrorist attack in Brussels. Instead of hating the offenders he pleads for love and empathy as an answer. Not imposing the truth on people, but taking the human competences of goodness and genius as starting point. Finding each other and, from our rich common history, work on a happy future.

Happiness as encouragement

Therefore the wishes for happiness are more then a symbolic action. They encourage us to be brave. Not cowardly or overconfident, but to trying to realize happiness within our possibilities in work and in live. To stand for our own values and those of our organisations. To increase our influence step by step and inspire others.

Save some well-meant ‘happy new year’ wishes. Read a wish again during the year or show it to a colleague. All wishes will give you new energy to strengthen our common happiness.

I wish all of you a happy new year,

Henk Bruning

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