Tropical and urban Singapore has no seasons nor natural cycles to help track the passage of the year. But the Gregorian calendar keeps everyone ticking along with an annual ritual of closure and renewal. As the year winds down to a close this week, it is time for the usual retrospective, whether by governments, agencies, companies, families, individuals and the like. And especially so among media outlets and their newsrooms.
Over the past two weeks, various sections, including in this newspaper, have looked back on individuals and events that made the headlines, and forward to what might make the news in the new year. It is part of the rhythm that signals the year's end. The urge to sit back and take stock seems to be a deeply ingrained human habit. It was born perhaps out of millennia worth of evolution where survival was determined by seasonal and agricultural cycles. Look at the annual calendar of festivals and one can see, across cultures, similar celebrations of summer and winter solstices, marking the important days as the seasons turn and the cycles of planting and harvests are renewed. With the prospect of another year ahead, people also start assessing their achievements and making resolutions.