OFFBEAT: Sharpen the resolution

What's my resolution? I'm not telling you. If I tell you, it won't come true. It's like a birthday wi
BENJAMIN ROODE
May 9, 2010

What's my resolution? I'm not telling you.

 

If I tell you, it won't come true. It's like a birthday wish. There's no sense in mentioning it because then people will know if it doesn't come true.

Plus, if I did tell you, you'd hold me to it, which is something that's really none of your business.

A resolution is something that's supposed to be a personal quest, something that you yourself must achieve to improve your person. It's like taking a community college course on Italian cooking or photography: it makes you better and maybe you keep it for the rest of your life.

If it doesn't work, you get depressed. And you start eating again, like you did at the beginning of the holiday season. And then your resolution, which is probably to lose weight/get thin/exercise more will fail.

Which will make you depressed all over again.

So, even though I won't tell you mine, I will mention things you should make your resolution.

Maybe you could take more responsibility for your actions. If you do something that affects someone else in a positive way, you probably take credit for it. But if your new dog poops in the neighbor's yard and burns the grass, you probably don't fess up, do you? And if there are other similarly-sized dogs in the area? No way.

In fact, you probably aren't polite to other people on the road or in restaurants or at stores, are you? You could resolve to be a nicer person and bring a little sunshine to everyone's day. That'll be increasingly difficult, however, when no one reciprocates. See how long that one lasts.

Or you could resolve to stop judging others. Who are you to judge, anyway? No one gave you the power to decide how people should act, so why do you make decisions about it? And what gives you the almighty power to tell people they're doing something wrong? If they did the same to you, that tune would change quickly.

Maybe this is the key: choose a resolution that has a chance of working. Resolve to do one nice thing per day. Resolve to be nicer to one server per week. Resolve to give the benefit of the doubt to one person you usually ride. Resolve to take a look at the things you do, the ones you know you don't like, and take small steps to do what you think should be done.

Am I ready to share? I guess.

I am resolving to get off my high horse. I'm resolving to stop whining about what other people do and focus on what I can do.

If we can all focus on how to better ourselves -- mentally, physically, spiritually -- the world itself becomes better by default.

Now there's a resolution.