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New Year’s Resolutions and Wishes: Yours and Our World’s

Whenever the winter holidays approach New Years my mind wanders towards what should be my New Years resolution(s). Not that I will actually keep any/all of them from one year to the next, but it is always nice to have a goal. Yes, I am a goal oriented brother! In the past I have had varying resolutions with diverse results (you had to know some dimension of diversity would show up in this blog, duh!). Once the resolution was to lose weight (one year I actually lost 27 lbs in ten weeks). Another time I committed to stop using profanity (that lasted until I realized I had grossly overdrawn my checking account). Always I strive to be a better person, parent, partner, lover, etc. I also remember the time I promised myself I would never use the N word again, never refer to a grown woman as a girl, never allow anyone to think I was in agreement with their prejudgment of someone else, never attempt to act like I wasn’t racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, ableist, and privileged in an attempt to pretend I was perfect or closer to perfection than someone else. My attempts to never do this or that were futile, but beneficial. I now recognize even more that the saying “Never say Never” is both profound and powerful. My attempts to achieve the impossible enlightened me to exactly what my capabilities actually might be.

My New Year resolution this year is to grow in multifaceted ways. An essential aspect of that resolution is to talk with many people, and even more, to listen. Imbedded within every conversation with people are stories steeped in subtext that often tell you even more about the person talking than what she/he may even be interested in revealing. So as to not get too lost in my self serving flights of fancy, bouts of brilliance when I think I may have discovered a tantalizing tidbit, I confirm it by engaging it. Yes, I ask questions of my conversant to further substantiate my interpretation of what they said. By doing this I like to think I am showing her/him a heightened level of respect by taking measures to further ensure that we are on the same page, that we are “really” communicating.

As I wander through these holidays, I wonder what others New Year resolutions might be. As well, I wonder what others wish could occur in this world of ours that would create more loving spaces. What do you wish could occur that might make our planet less hateful, less harmful? What is your resolution to contribute your part to making that wish come true? If the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, what is the first step(s) you plan on taking in 2008?

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What changes would I like to see in the world.
Not much, actually.

Maybe no more wars influenced by corporations, who seem to be the only ones benefiting from these bloody battles. If you noticed I connected who to corporation. That's because the parasitic institution is basically a living, breathing organism that is rather quickly draining the resources of the world for personal gain.

Be nice to know we were going to truly embrace alternative energy.

Maybe start concentrating our military endeavors on places of Genocide, like Darfur, and not against governments we created that we get angry at when they stop playing ball.

And you see, then, after we stop spending untold billions on senseless wars, we put that money into institutions such as public education, social services and maybe even the prison systems, where society can truly begin attempting to rehabilitate violent criminals.

An assurance that no American will earn less than $30,000 yearly in their career to enable families to pursue their dreams.

Of course, this comes after glutonous CEOs give up multi-million-dollar bonuses and birthday parties catered by naked models and equiped with ice statues that piss thousand-dollar bottles of champagne.
How am I going to turn that resolution into reality? By starting an intellectual revolution.

Loving spaces…..I like that phrase. Just two days ago I was thinking about how soon the primaries are and I was greatly relieved to think that we were just that much closer to having a new president. Then tears came to my eyes, as they are now while I right this, when I began reflecting on all the hate and injustices this current administration has created. I know we have a lot of healing to do.

I’m hopeful the next president and their administration will be able to fix much of the hurt and start to heal these fractured international relationships and ease the pain at home. But, in order for that to happen the right person must be elected. So, my promise to myself is to spend the next few weeks making sure I know as much as I can about the presidential candidates so, when it comes time, I’m certain I’ve flipped the right lever in that polling booth. Peace

What I want to achieve in the upcoming year is to find away into the minds of my peers; to finally understand my friends . What are the people closest to me really thinking? Do they care about anything more than the day to day tasks they have? How do I read in between the lines of my friends words or actions? Also I want to get through to them to hear what I have to say. I want to challenge the actions of not only my friends but on most people I interact with. I would like to hold a conversation or discussions with people about their views and actions with being seen as an antagonist, someone just being a pain in the ass. But most of all I want to learn a great amount this year. I want to hear and understand what my professors are trying to teach me. But i also want to listen and consider the advice that anyone gives me.

My New Years resolutions were in progress long before I had my Christmas shopping done this year! They are simple and acheivable. I just needed to stop and take a break from the perpetual grind of life to rethink what's important. I don't really consider them New Years resolutions. I understand the concept, but feel I made the choices without the pressure of the New Year upon me.

So with that said, the first choice I made is to be more independent in how I live and think, while staying open to considering differing views and opinions.

I have made a choice to learn on an academic level as well as from the relationships I form with friends and family. In doing so I will find positive ways to benefit from the knowledge and experience.

I have made a choice to have more meaningful interaction with my friends and family, especially my children.

A very simple and easy choice I made is to have fun every day. We have so many opportunities to laugh, smile and have a good time and yet we pass by those chances because we are either stressed or caught up in our day to day routine. We forget to give ourselves and others around us a daily dose of happiness.

A wish for the world: I would love to see more success in treating those who suffer from mental illness, as I believe many of society's problems are rooted in this affliction.

Happy New Year, JW

I enjoyed your blog and laughed at your tales of past New Year's proclamations and resolutions. I can relate to those promises of "never" but also know that, although ususally impossible to carry out, they help us know what we really value and devalue and what we would like to be- even if it is an ideal never fully realized. It is the "reach" that counts.

This New Years finds me in a pensive mood- and your inquiry into this year's resolutions and wishes for self- and the world -places me directly in my usual, annual dilemma which is- what is my locus of control? How do my personal resolutions impact what I wish for the world- if at all. If I were to wish for "world peace" and still find myself picking fights with people- or responding with anger when people displease me- what does that say?

As an individual, I can, I suppose, strive to be the best I can be- compassionate and constructive in my little world and wish that these same efforts will be made by others, some of whom may have wider influence and impact.

This year finds me in a new situation- with a relative who has learned that he is near death. It makes me appreciate the fragility and unpredictability of life in a new way and it shapes my resolutions. I want to be "purposeful" this year. I want to be sure that I say and do things for people that are meaningful and honest. I want to be sure that I take all the risks I would regret not having taken if my life were to end soon. I want to be sure that I have all the pleasure that is possible while taking life very seriously. And I want to help those I love do the same. And, in the spirit of all of this, let me say that I appreciate this blog, the blogger and all the respondents who put themselves out there with such candor and passion. I wish you all the things you wish for yourselves in 2008.

I keep my new years resolution simple and straightforward. You are indeed goal oriented, which is wonderful, but you also set immensely high goals, which too is wonderful, but it can be tough on one's self-esteem when a goal is set and then not met. You might be stronger in that respect than I.

The only new years resolution I've made in the past was to write, every day, in my journal. I wanted to improve my writing skills, and I figured practice makes perfect (well, it makes better) so I should just practice writing, every day. I think it has helped. In one year, I wrote over 400 journal entries--something I usually wouldn't do. But I kept that resolution, and I am glad I did.

This year I have another simple, everyday resolution. I am not a particularly fit person, so I have decided to do 10 push-ups everyday (doesn't sound like much, but after a year thats 3,650 pushups. I may not have even done that many in my entire life yet!). It's not a lot to ask of myself, which is why I *must* make myself do it. If I can't ask for a small thing from myself, and stick to it, how will I ever do the big things?

Sure, I want to change the world--and this is as good a time as any. But before I put the world's house in order, I must get my own affairs in order first. I wouldn't want to be a hypocrite, after all, telling people how to live when I myself haven't figured it out yet. So my plan for the future is simple: self improvement.

New Year's Resolutions... well, it is now already February, but I made a resolution this year to live life in harmony with my heart and instincts and focus less on the incessent chatter in my head. Too often we are overwhelmed by thoughts of bills to pay, daily worries, responsibilities, commitments... so much so that we fail to pay attention to our hearts and what is really important, the people we care about and who care about us.

So far I would say that I have been truer to myself than I ever would have by second-guessing myself. I feel mentally, emotionally, and physically healthier than ever before. And I certainly feel more ready to deal with the world's problems when my own psyche is in congruence and at peace.

Just my two cents... thanks for writing this thought-provoking article!

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