Resolutions Worth Making and Keeping
January 01, 2017 -Steve Hays
Gosh, here we are again. Although saying that is not really true, unless Tesla time machines are now available to the public! Coming into another new year that we’ve never been to before can’t really be considered the samo-samo.
Some people may think that there is nothing new under the sun, but that more accurately reflects really not paying close attention or not noticing the differences.
It’s also why we often hear the same old solutions are still being brought up. They didn’t work before, did they? And it may not be that we just need to try it again, but try harder. What works usually flows easier and without being forced.
This year especially looks uncertain because of political changes, but that also means more opportunities to reexamine at our culture and institutions—and revisit how we want them and our leaders to reflect and represent us. It’s defining us/US again. That’s not bad.
Given that people have the ability to let their fears and nightmares drive them more that their vision and dreams, it appears that compared to last year more people are convinced that we are entering the “end times” and judgment is at hand.
That doesn’t mean more of us are “religious” this year, just more of us seem to view the coming year as ominous or threatening.
Having a judgment day isn’t all bad, is it? Might be better than judging moment to moment whether what’s occurring in life or the world is good or bad before it really has a chance to evolve or grow enough to know.
On the other hand, if you like to do that there is a media outlet called The End Times Daily you may like. Great name, huh?
What I don’t like hearing is that we should not make New Year’s Resolutions. Yes, I know there are things on my mental “list” that have been there before, but that just means I’m human, right?
What’s great about being human is we are capable of hope and of starting over again—and again.
That’s what human beings do. Remember that Mark Twain counseled that it was easy to quit smoking—he himself had done it thousands of times. He still managed to accomplish a lot in the world.
Even if our resolution is just saying or thinking “I want to see some positive change in the world I live in,” isn’t that how it begins? It really starts moving, of course, when we take action—not the perfect move—but one we perceive is a good one at the time.
Perhaps the most important question about the new year—a new government and president, and so on—is: are you looking forward to it?
Human beings adjust. They handle it. They make the best of it and sometimes make it better. With or without the perfect answer.
Let’s face it. We just elected as president someone who can be found in psychology textbooks as an example of a narcissist.
That’s not like saying he prefers chocolate over vanilla, or even that he is a sociopath. A sociopath exhibits anti-social behavior. Narcissism is considered a mental disorder.
That defines a person who is knee-jerk predictable, right? And someone who might be manipulated?
We also know that for a lot of people he represents what it means to be successful. In our society he’s “made it”—no matter how he got it, he’s got it. In our society there is not much emphasis on “how” you got it. Maybe more people will think it’s time to adjust their idea of what “making it” means.
It’s not that I am able to accept all these changes as perfect. I do like the idea that more positions will be examined, though, and that people are participating more. Change may require a lot of us saying what we want.
Just being against something and fighting what’s coming is a show of strength but won’t necessarily bring the environmental, health care or educational changes or ensure justice when it comes to women’s rights/human rights that most of us want.
Given his inability to take criticism or empathize with other people, the reign of incoming President Donald Trump may be shorter than we think. How will he react?
What I hope to see is that we find a place to agree—not simply fight the “opposition.” Every time we go extreme one way we can count on an equal and opposite reaction to appear also, right?
The real difference maker is finding what unites us.
R. Buckminster Fuller said it best: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
So I’ve been working on “that” or at least one model—but I won’t explore that until next month. Sorry for the “tune in at 11” teaser, but I’m simply not ready to present it.
My hope is we get beyond the “fight” talk and return to where we started as a country. It was not that money, religion, privilege, nobility or family made anyone better than anyone else. We didn’t consider people in those groups better able to rule to govern us or be the ones that determine our direction.
I hope enough of us now believe that so we can move us/US forward. Our system is not a gift that self-perpetuates or self-duplicates over and over. It requires attention and maintenance—as well as embracing its ideals to give it all to the next generation.
Looking forward really seems to require knowing that even if we don’t know now, we are willing to explore—not prejudge—and we are capable of finding, if not the “best” answer, then the next step.
The process is about moving toward “a more perfect union”—not having the perfect answer, right?
It’s good to have resolutions—and resolve. Let’s give up the fear and remember that we are capable. We’re human beings and we’ll figure it out.