Originally published in the E2D
Happy New Year to you all!
I hope you’ve all recovered nicely from the holiday season and not finding the dreary trudge of normal life which January always seems to hold in store for us too much for you.
Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? You know, those things which are like political party manifestos – sound great but ultimately are completely ignored.
The only one I made was to write 2016 rather than 2015 from the very beginning.
Alas, I’ve already broken that several times – my brain is still very firmly stuck in 2015.
But if I was to make resolutions I doubt I would make the usual kind – lose weight, do more exercise, that kind of thing.
If you read this column often enough you’ll know by now that I don’t tend to do things normally and I think my resolutions would be much the same.
So for your perusal I offer you my alternative set of resolutions – If I thought I could stick to them. See what you think…
Ken’s resolutions for 2016
- I will be less tolerant – of the intolerant and the stupid, at least. Society seems to be running around the idea that ‘all views are equally valid’. Well, this is often true of course, but sometimes people are just wrong.
There’s not getting around it. It doesn’t matter how much I might want to be understanding, the likes of Donald Trump et al simply don’t have a decent argument. Nor do bigots of any kind.
- I will spend less time with my friends – the ones on Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Whatsapp anyway.
Don’t get me wrong – I love social media but when you’re a freelance writer like me it’s too easy to be sucked into Facebook and never come out.
Instead, I’ll limit the amount of time I spend in the virtual world and give more quality time to those in the real.
- I will reduce my sense of self-worth – the L’Oreal “because I’m worth it” line summarises well so much that’s wrong with ego-centred society today.
It started with Descartes’ accidentally selfish “I think therefore I am” and people have gone on chasing their own worth ever since. I much prefer the African proverb “I am, because you are”. Just imagine if the whole world went around thinking everyone else was worth more and we allowed others to build us up rather than pretend to ourselves that we are better (something we can’t maintain for long before sinking in despair). I think we’d see world peace in an instant.
- I will take things more personally – in that I think we don’t take personal responsibility seriously enough. It’s a knock-on from the individualism mentioned above. Whatever my neighbour did, it’s nothing to do with me so don’t blame me. Other cultures don’t tend to think like this. What happens in a community affects the whole community and the whole community makes the effort to put things right. Rather than walk away and say “not my problem”, I want to step in and say “what can I do to make this right?”