The beginning of a new stage is useful, in that people get the opportunity to think about their past and future actions. That is to say, they get the opportunity to say, “Well, I had these flaws during the year that went by, so I will start with eliminating these flaws for the new year.” This affects all aspects of life.
It’s extremely good to divide our life into certain stages. If life continues with monotonous regularity and new stages never begin, one would not think of innovation and new beginnings. One of the advantages of dividing life into stages is that one would be able to think, “Well, this year is over, and a new year has started.” And the new year will definitely bring about new actions, new ideas, new resolutions and new motives. According to the traditions we and other nations of the world observe, when the new year starts, people put on new clothes and make their houses look new. For example, our people traditionally practice spring cleaning and other such things. Apparently other nations have similar traditions.The beginning of a new stage is useful, in that people get the opportunity to think about their past and future actions. That is to say, they get the opportunity to say, “Well, I had these flaws during the year that went by, so I will start with eliminating these flaws for the new year.” This affects all aspects of life.I believe the most important thing that people should think about is their relationship with God. At the beginning of each new year, people should tell themselves, “Last year and the previous years have passed, and there is nothing I can do about them, but now a new stage has begun.” We should define a new relationship with God the Exalted, proactively and retroactively. The proactive aspect is related to committing sins. People get used to committing certain sins, and they do not realize the importance of those sins. If they stop to think about these sins, they will notice them in their behavior and their actions. Of course, people give themselves the benefit of the doubt. People do not usually suspect themselves. Unfortunately human beings justify their actions, but it is not impossible to critically evaluate one’s own actions. God the Exalted has provided us with the ultimate proof. If we look carefully, we can identify our flaws. Human beings have an inner voice which is honest with them. If they refer to their inner voice, their flaws will be revealed to them.Well, humans get used to certain sins too. They underestimate the significance of certain sins. This is one things that can be evaluated during the new year. One can think of a way to reduce the number of the sins committed by writing them down.
Ayatollah Khamenei; April 12, 2011