Editorial — A new year to be happy about

There is much to be happy about in Langley, B.C. and Canada as we enter the year 2013.

Happy new year.

The phrase is on many peoples’ lips as the year turns, and it is a genuine sentiment. Most of us wish for our friends, neighbours, family members, work colleagues and even casual acquaintances to have a happy and successful new year.

There is much to be happy about in Langley, B.C. and Canada. Almost everyone here has a home, and even those who do not have places they can go if they wish to. Almost everyone can easily get enough to eat, and can get enough clothing to wear.

Children, except in a very few extreme situations, have their needs taken care of — if not by their families, then by others through adoption, foster homes and the support of caring people.

Langley is a community with a great deal of heart. This is not always duplicated, particularly in the Lower Mainland, where constant population change and a huge influx of newcomers sometimes impedes community spirit.

The weather here isn’t always bright and sunny. But the climate is mild and even in mid-winter, snow is a rarity. It’s easy to get around and, if you’re bundled up against the cold and wet, it’s a pretty good place to be outdoors.

The issues which stir up Langley residents, and The Times reports on many of them over the course of each year, are often of minor significance when compared to some of the truly heartbreaking issues in other parts of the world. There is no civil war underway here with thousands of civilians being killed, nor has a school been invaded by a gunman who killed 26 people, 20 of them young children.

The fact that Langley issues are primarily differences of opinion on local services, taxes or council salaries is something to celebrate. It means that our community is more like a big family where there are inevitable disagreements over small matters, rather than a group of people who are constantly warring with one another.

Issues on the provincial and national scene are, in some ways, more significant, but they are also more distant from most people. Most of us are happy when the various levels of government just leave us alone.

There is much to appreciate as Langley enters 2013, and a happy new year will be one in which the peaceful way of life we often take for granted can continue.