New Years 2012: Resolutions are the First Steps To a Better (Or Worse) You


Resolution 1: sleep more
Resolution 2: abuse more children

Resolution. Isn't that a funny word?  The definition at this time of year implies that a decision has been made, set in stone, committed to, no longer in debate. The time for conversation is over: we are resolved! To the gym! Less red meat! More sunscreen! Let's go now before doubt creeps back!

Overcoming the debate stage is the first big hurdle we face in acting with compassion and improving our world and our lives. Debate just seems easier. We can debate and converse from our couch, or at the table, or in a comfortable classroom. We do that step with people we know, at predictable times.

Acting is much harder, isn't it? You don't know who will be at the gym, or what the light will be like, or where the restrooms are located. How do you use this weight? How long should you use a machine? Anxiety!

The anxiety is double for real action in our world. Soup kitchens can be very uncomfortable, even worse than a new job. Not only are your coworkers feeling you out, and you don't know where anything is, it's also in a bad neighborhood, and many people there might have big problems that they need to lay on you. Who needs that?!

New Year's is a perfect excuse to buck up and jump over that hurdle with friends and family. You can do it! You really can do better this year!

A general sense of mortality faced with the slow, unceasing march of time helps, too (for all you depressed existentialists out there).

Times Square, 1907

In the spirit of sharing the pain with people I love, let's resolve together. What will you do this year?

I will:

1. Learn Spanish
2. Volunteer more to relieve hunger
3. Finish a book

I think that will be it for me this year. You?

Remember Borges' words of wisdom:

"I won't try to be so perfect,
I'll be more relaxed,
I'll be more full - than I am now,
In fact, I'll take fewer things seriously..."