Not one here to ascribe to ye ole New Year’s resolution. Never have been persuaded with the merits of such tedium as it stood though it was perfect for bland party chatter on New Year’s Eve.
The seemingly mandatory topics of self improvement resolutions appeared more like the Cosmo article that I once saw while waiting for an oil change. It was called: 23 Ways to Look Better in 1 Minute or Less.
And while I too sometimes pitch into that sort of narcissistic venture, a socially distanced culture has shown that the goals of the recent past to be oh so trite.
And don’t forget complicated. Countless internet gurus gladly offer the involved process to meet your New Year’s goal. Strategic list making, professional coaching, journaling and the ever dubious post it notes in all manner of places.
Here’s one that I am buying – “be specific with your New Year’s resolution”. Still a cautionary tale from Ram Dass says, “As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be, you can’t see how it is.” (And I would add – or WHY it is.)
However do the routines of navel gazing begin? Obsession with the physical proves the hollow ring of meaninglessness. The great beauty Sophia Loren said, “Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”
Not to say that the physical is without priority. For instance discerning the practical nature of life, we see the eternal value of correct breathing, going to bed and waking at set times, hydrating with water, stretching, brushing and flossing, morning meditation and, of course, my favorite, eating and drinking what is hand-tended from the nearby.
Easy stuff. Atta-boys are not required for these activities. The pay back of a self care routine is immediate and fruitful. So enough of that.
Turning our attention to the work in process that we are, there is nothing like a bizarro year to forge new connections in the brain. Statistics on the effects of whirl-a-gig weirdness are not yet available, but I do now have some insight on the cloudy thinking for which we continue to pay dearly.
The Old Testament God has been speaking. Certain realities unfolded and the clouds rolled away. We were stunned to find our shriveled selfhood exposed to the open air; there was nothing that the newest interpretation of ultra cream could do to maintain appearances.
So I believe the coming New Year resolution is as heavenly sent as the ceaseless combo of faces that God designs and issues daily. And to put a cherry on top, we are reminded of the immediacy in the words David Byrne and Spike Lee’s American Utopia, that “we are only tourists in this life”.
Do you recall sitting in that ancient campus classroom and hearing for the first time about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs? Fascination with how each need is filled and then manifests by allowing the next need to develop haunts me.
Promotion depends on the fulfillment of a few basic needs assuring that humans can then turn their attention to the difficulties of others. The most essential of needs for this process to work is belongingness and love. It seems that we are surprised by this though the lack thereof has played out across history infecting our world with limitation.
Throughout the many-month long pause, as if by magic, a forgotten tip pops up to assuage belongingness and love. It is easily unearthed by way of our beloved religions. We share in The Golden Rule; this New Year’s resolution is as simple and specific as a truth dressed in multi-colored legs.
The proof is in the manifold directive and coordination is achieved with nary a meeting! Pure enchantment. 2021. Hello young and old lovers wherever you are. We could teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.
And so it is:
Christianity: So in everything, do to others that what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Judaism: That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow! That is the whole Torah; the rest is interpretation (Elder Hillel in Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a)
Hinduism: This is the sum of duty – do not unto others what would cause pain if done to you (Mahabharata 5:1517)
Islam: None of you believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself. (An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadith 13)
Jainism: A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated (Sutrakrianga 1.11.33)
Taoism: Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss (T’ai Shang Kan Ying Pien, 213-218)
Zoroastrianism: Do not do unto other whatever is injurious to yourself. (Shayast-na-Shayast 13.29
Bahai: Blessed is he who preferred his brother before himself (Baha’u’llah)
Brahmanism: This is the sum of Dharma: Do naught unto others which would cause pain if done to you (Mahabharata)