FOR a while, I mulled over what to write today, this being my first article for the new year of the second decade of the 21st century. I thought that this is a very special day so it must be for something very important, very serious. Initially, I thought about writing about the most significant events of the past first decade; or my prognostication of what the new decade will bring.

After so much soul searching, I came to a conclusion: much of the problems of this world are caused by our taking life on earth too seriously.

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We work our butts off 12-16 hours a day to get successful and rich -- oftentimes sacrificing important relationships with family and friends and getting stressed nerves -- and the resulting poor health -- in the process.

Scientists take their inventing mission too seriously and end up inventing "modern" things that bring us disaster. Too many cars and factories that are meant to bring progress have the bad side effect of bringing with them terrible natural disasters: deadly pollution, strong typhoons due to climate change, etc.

They invent nuclear arms that bring us to the brink of extinction and small but very destructive bombs being used by terrorists worldwide that cause mayhem and fear to all people.

Politicians and government functionaries taking the pursuit of power and wealth too seriously that they don’t have qualms about killing their political opponents and/or stealing huge amounts of people’s money to the detriment of the masses they have sworn to serve.

So where did all these soul-searching lead me to? That we should take life less seriously and have more fun living. Who was it who said, "In this journey called life, nobody reaches the destination alive, so we might as well enjoy the trip"?

I have therefore decided to instead devote this column to featuring humorous and funny quotations as a way of launching this decade. Here we go…

"Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you're forced to." -- Bill Vaughan

"The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you're married to." -- P. J. O'Rourke

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves." - Bill Vaughan

"Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits." -- Anonymous.

"May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions!" -- Joey Adams

And finally, here are a few greetings that came into my email inbox this holiday season:

"May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal your debts."

"May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!"

"May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy."

"May the problems that you met forget your home address!"

Happy New Year and Decade to all!

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