Most of us have no idea what the phrase even means. But when that clock strikes 12 midnight on January first, most everywhere in the world, someone is singing it like they wrote it themselves. Confession: I only know the first verse and can reason from the English translation that Auld Lang Syne asks the question, For the sake of old times, should old acquaintances be forgotten and never brought to mind? My answer to that question would be another question. Can you remember every acquaintance you’ve ever had? I can’t. I’ve met a lot of people in my life, as I’m sure you have too. Remembering all of them would be nearly impossible. When Robert Burns, the Scottish-born poet wrote this famous poem, he was, no doubt, reflecting on a different kind of acquaintance. It was more of a friendship between 2 people who met to catch up after growing apart through the years. Should we forget those kinds of acquaintances? The great ones and the terrible ones we remember. The mediocre, the lukewarm, we tend to forget. It’s not that we try to remember and cannot; it’s that the mediocre and lukewarm are filed so far back in our memory, it sometimes takes a startling event to bring them back to life. You’ve probably said something like this after receiving the news that one of your acquaintances either died or acquired a terminal illness. Oh yes, I remember her. Wasn’t she the one who… and He was such a nice guy.
Auld Lang Syne means for the sake of old times. Mr. Burns is asking a simple question. Should past friendships be forgotten? Should we just forget some of these relationships in our past? Is is worth it? For the sake of old times, is it worth it to drop by that mucky pond and dredge it? I guess that depends on how you gage the friendship. In 2021, perhaps you could evaluate your friendships. Which ones are worth remembering for the sake of old times? Which ones would be better wrapped up, put in a box, and stored away for a while? Which ones are draining the life out of you and should be thrown in the trash on garbage day? You have some really good friendships, and you might have some really toxic ones as well. Only you know which ones are which. For the sake of your sanity, evaluate your friendships. Today. On the very first day of this new year, make some wise decisions for yourself and have a happier one!