The New Year is historically the time for making resolutions. I love word play, so I broke down “resolution” and was surprised that it may not be such a great thing to do, after all.
The word “resolution” has the base word “resolute” which means firm, unwavering and fixed. There is an irony that this is the word we use for our New Year’s Resolutions simply because the very name says they are unbreakable. Yet it seems to be understood by most that a resolution set January 1 will be broken by most by March 1. Many people who are “goal driven” or “success oriented” or listen to personal trainers online will still “map out” their year, but with different phraseology and instead say “2021 goals” or “life goals” or “word of the year” etc anything accept “resolution”.
Looking at your life, the way you live it and where you want it to be is not a bad thing. So, there are ideas behind the resolution that are very good. We make goals for some kind of improvement in our lives. We are excited to tell people what these will be and to hear how others will try to manifest challenging, but positive results in their lives. Social media has made accountability and the ability to encourage each other simple. This is an opportunity to come together.
And this is what brings the next irony. Our resolutions are an opportunity for positive action and coming together with others; we often share weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Yet the definition of resolute, the very word means set in purpose or opinion and unwavering. Today, we are seeing people who are too resolute: firm and unwavering. It is incredibly difficult to be supportive of someone else’s successes if you are determined that they made a mistake and were “wrong” from the very beginning. It is difficult to come together, and often anger is created when people choose to stand firm on what they know and refuse to simply listen.
It seems so basic when written, doesn’t it? No one needs to give up what they believe, but to hear what others vulnerabilities.
I was just reading How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Children by Dr. Gearald Newmark and this parenting quote is applicable to all interactions, not just fabulous parenting advice:
“Connecting is not possible if one party is inflexible, self-righteous or disrespectful towards another’s taste (values, opinions) etc.”
I challenge you to be less “resolute” this year. Instead, remember the camaraderie of the New Year’s Resolution, the willingness to support each other’s vulnerabilities to make a better “them” in the coming year.
The Golden Rule: “Treat others as you would like to be treated” can seem so quaint. I think it often gets overlooked because it is so simple. so I wish you to just try to go out each day and just try to be better.
Together we will make 2021 a safe, peaceful, connected and happy year.