The New Year's song "Auld Lang Syne" title translates to a long, long ago meaning for the sake of old times. Lyrics include "Take a cup of kindness friend" and end with "And there's a hand my trust friend, And give me a hand of thine, And we'll take a right good-will draught, For Auld Lang Syne." Considering Robert Burns wrote this in 1788, it is a little hard to translate. Did they really talk like this?

In the simplest breakdown, I understand it is basically one person reaching out to another and that person reaching back, with all in the promise of good will to each other - trust, hope, joy. I will stretch it even further to represent a kind of unity. We teach our children to be kind to one another and personally try to be better citizens in our own community. I would say this is a good promise to make for a new year.

I think the term 'society" does not represent a highfalutin group of untouchable celebrities but instead represents who comprises our community. Caring neighbors, church groups, people who are aware of the needs of others and do something about it are representative of our local society. When I look at the plight of city dwellers or suburban neighborhoods today, filled with people who do not know who live next door (or even care!), I realize how lucky we are to live where we do in our small communities.

Volunteering and supporting programs that build families up make us a stronger community. If you can whittle a little free time out of your busy schedule, call us. Send your giving dollars to the Pine River-Backus Family Center at PO Box 1/PR 56474. Call 218-587-4292 with questions. Wishing you a happy and peaceful new year.