As the Year of the Goat came to an end along with the arrival of the Year of the Monkey, I sat down to contemplate about the highlights of the passing year and my hopes and aspirations for the new one.

One of the highlights of the year of the goat was my discovery of the mesmerizing beauty of Guilin. After residing in China for more than 12 years, I thought that I had acquired sufficient information about China that nothing would captivate my mind and capture my attention anymore. However, after visiting Guilin during the Year of the Goat, I realized that I could not be more wrong.

Without exaggeration, I came to the conclusion that Guilin, with its magical scenery, its down to earth friendly atmosphere and generosity of spirit of its people, is a piece of heaven on earth.

Another highlight of the bygone year was enlarging my circle of friends by establishing mutually satisfying friendships with my fellow Chinese people through my teaching assignments. Without any doubt, my new friends helped to make my stay in China enjoyable and memorable.
By exchanging thoughts with each other, we were able to narrow the gap of differences between our cultures and come to an understanding of the train of thoughts of one another. I feel very fortunate to have them in my life.

To be completely objective, during the Year the Goat, I had to deal with few disappointments. It is too obvious that the spread of terror worldwide had filled our hearts with sorrow and anguish.

Seeing many countries facing some financial difficulties played a major role in upsetting my peace of mind. Fortunately, I have complete faith that they will overcome those difficulties.

Despite the turmoil, chaos and spread of conflicts during the Year of the Goat, I still hold an optimistic hope for the New Year of the Monkey.

I hope that economy will keep in prospering and developing. I hope that all people will lead comfortable lifestyles and enjoy excellent health and experience ultimate happiness.

I aspire that we will be able to rid our planet from the destructive actions of few fanatic terrorists. I hope that we will acquire the wisdom and common sense to cease from engaging in trivial wars that may lead to annihilation of the human race.

It is logical to assume that every year has its ups and downs. The same goes for the Year of the Goat. It was a harmonious blend of highlights and regrets.

As for the current Year of the Monkey, we hold high hopes that it will be a year of growth, development, prosperity and peace. We have no other option but to be optimistic. Otherwise, our lives would be unbearable.

Author's Bio: 

Holding an honorary professorship from China, Sava Hassan is a Canadian author, poet and educator. He had published three books and wrote numerous articles in various topics in Canada, USA and China. For a year, he was writing an advice column for a major English magazine in China. Sava, occasionally, writes articles for several Chinese English Newspapers. He won several writing awards including four from China.