Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Care when making resolutions

I don't actually make New Year resolutions--at least, not on January 1. I consider, evaluate, and reshape my life and goals during the month before Rosh Hashana--and I usually keep that process to myself. Advertising my flaws to others doesn't help me change, it just adds humiliation and shame to the roadblocks I challenge in trying to become a better person every year. Better than last year, that is: my competition is with the previous versions of myself, not with some idealized version of a friend or role model.

I did pick a word to focus on during the calendar year, and you'll see it in the left column of the blog: Discover. That means many things to me, and I think it will be useful to me to think about what, who, how, and why I want to discover during the coming year.

But to encourage anyone who makes the more widely-recognized kind of resolution, and to amuse anyone who doesn't, I share with you this treasure found at The Common Room:

It is well, I admit, to make a few good resolutions such as not to commit murder without some small provocation. But even this is a matter of climate and law. In Texas many a good man has shot his friend in spite of his firm resolve never to kill any but strangers. And even when a man might reasonably think himself safe in making a resolution he is sometimes crowed over by fate. Cannibalism is a thing the average man may firmly resolve not to take to. But then let him keep ashore and in towns where they sell provisions, for I knew a man of this kind who was lost in a shopless waste of mountain snow. He had a partner and the partner died. The other didn't. I shall write this story at full length one day when I get time and the requisite experience The experience is my difficulty. But next year I am going to Central Africa....

Morley Roberts in The Idler: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine edited by Jerome Klapka Jerome, Robert Barr, Sidney H. Sime, Arthur Lawrence

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good point, though sometimes it's hard to arrive to definite conclusions