As the end of 2017 looms, talk turns to the making of resolutions for the new year. In this, I am a non-participant, perhaps even an anti-new-year-resolutionist.
My reason for eschewing New Year’s Resolutions is simple; if there is something that I should change about my behavior, I should start right now, not on some “special” date. And to be frank, the only things special about January 1 are it being a Holy Day and it is time to put a new parish calendar on my office wall.
Most resolutions I hear people tour have to do with behavior, either physical or spiritual.
The physical resolutions: lose weight, eat more vegetables, give up chocolate, exercise more, run the Boston Marathon, learn to play the piano.
The spiritual resolutions: be kinder to others, be more patient never miss Mass, don’t swear, start each day with a meditation, don’t shop on Sunday.
Of course, some people make particular and practical resolutions: finally clean the garage, paint the porch, keep the garden weeded. But these practical resolutions have no connection to the first of the year.
Come to think of it, neither do physical or spiritual resolutions. If something is worthy of a resolution, it is worthy to address right now.
If I think I need to be more patient, why wait until January 1 – or if I forget on January 1, 2018, wait until January 1, 2019. I should not be patient about making a resolution to be more patient.
Of course, if someone makes a resolution that will improve their life and they stick to it, more power to them. It probably works for some folks.
Based on the history of the world the past couple centuries, I hope world leaders will have enough sense to resolve a few things:
- Don’t get involved in a land war in Asia.
- Don’t invade Russia (especially in winter).
- Promote peace and justice.
- Stop corruption and greed.
- Feed and clothe those in need.
- Protect human life.
- Find a path to peace in the Middle East.
- End religious persecution.
I know, I know, I sound like a contestant in a beauty contest. But I really do want world peace.