Day one of a new year.

Every year on this day, people all over the world have the same opportunity to look forward with renewed hope. It’s a cross-cultural phenomenon. The people who live in palaces celebrate, as do the people who live in slums. People from the East celebrate, and, hours later, so do the people from the West.

Some parties are more lavish than others. Some people sip champagne in cocktail dresses, while others shiver in torn coats, watching the minute hand slowly click over to midnight on a public clock from makeshift homes of cardboard.

On New Year’s, though, there are no gifts to give or receive, no religions to divide us.

Time is the great equalizer.

As we celebrate this day, the first of another new year, it’s my hope that we will look toward a better future, that we will recognize that the opportunity for change, equality and love doesn’t roll around once every 365 (or 366) days. Each day offers new opportunity. Each hour. Each second.

Let’s not waste them.

Happy New Year.