At each New Year we stand at the threshold of fresh scenes and hopes, of opportunities and pastures new. It is the time for casting off shackles and burdens that have weighed us down in the old year; almost a new chapter of life. We scan the prevailing scene for signs that will chart the year's unrolling and beyond, and hope profoundly for a smooth passage. The present is largely the product of the past, but of the future, who knows? Man therefore forever seems to be entering upon something new—a change, a challenge, events of great portent. This, of course, is what life is all about. Trends usually precede events, often by a decade or more, yet it is a paradox that so many are taken by surprise when they occur. Trends there have been and well marked; signs, too, for the discerning. In fields particular, they portend overall progress; in general, not a few bode ill.
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