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People have yearned for the end of 2020 more than just about any other year in modern memory.

A global pandemic that has killed more than 340,000 Americans and limited the way everyone lives there lives, along with a hotly contested election and the near-mainstreaming of conspiracy theories leaves little to look back on with fondness.

The turning of the calendar comes with no guarantees, but it does bring that rare commodity of hope for new beginnings, and better days to come.

As is our tradition, we share some words of wisdom on the dawning of a new year.

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“Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky / The flying cloud, the frosty light / The year is dying in the night / Ring out wild bells and let him die. / Ring out the old, ring in the new / Ring, happy bells, across the snow / The year is going, let him go / Ring out the false, ring in the true.” — Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “In Memoriam”

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“The old order changeth, yielding place to new.” — Tennyson, “Morte D’Arthur”

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“Dear Posterity: If you have not become more just, more peaceful, and generally more rational than we are (or were) — why then, the Devil take you.” — Albert Einstein, 1936

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“No one ever regarded the first of January with indifference. It is the nativity of our common Adam.” — Charles Lamb, London Magazine, 1821

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“A year has passed — another has commenced. These solemn divisions of time influence our feelings as they recur. Yet there is nothing in it, for every day in the year closes a twelvemonth as well as the 31st of December.” — Sir Walter Scott, journal

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“Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week, you can begin paving hell with them, as usual.” — Mark Twain

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“Now the New Year reviving old desires / The thoughtful soul to solitude retires.” — “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam,” translated by Edward Fitzgerald

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“The roads are very dirty, my boots are very thin / I have a little pocket to put a penny in / God send you happy, God send you happy / Pray God send you a happy New Year.” — old English carol

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“Each new season grows from the leftovers from the past. That is the essence of change, and change is the basic law.” — Hal Borland, “Sundial of the Seasons,” 1964

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“ ‘A New Year’s gift to the world,’ said the Frost / ‘Rich lace curtains which nothing cost.’ ” — Charles Godfrey Leland, “Frost Pictures”

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“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow.” — Rainer Maria Rilke, letter

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“One thing that is new is the prevalence of newness, the changing scale and scope of change itself, so that the world alters as we walk in it.” — J. Robert Oppenheimer, “The Dynamics of Change,” 1967

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“There is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.” — Ecclesiastes

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“The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4,000 years ago. In the years around 2000 B.C., the Babylonian New Year began with the first new moon (actually the first visible crescent) after the vernal equinox (first day of spring). The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of blossoming. Jan. 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary ... . The Roman senate, in 153 B.C., declared Jan, 1 to be the beginning of the new year ... . However, in A.D. 567 the Council of Tours abolished January in favor of March as the start of a new year, varying the actual day to coincide with the vernal equinox ... . During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Years. Jan. 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.” — researcher Jerry Wilson

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“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.” — Harry S Truman

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“The New Year, like an Infant Heir to the whole world, was waited for, with welcomes, presents, and rejoicings.” — Charles Dickens, “The Chimes”

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“Happiness is too many things these days for anyone to wish it on anyone lightly. So let’s just wish each other a bileless New Year and leave it at that.” — Judith Crist, “1966 At Its Worst,” Jan. 1, 1967