After reviewing a whole slew of “New Year’s Resolutions for 2015” threads, it struck me as odd, and perhaps an indication of something important, that every single one of them was based on the individual. There was literally nothing about, for example, Volunteering at the Soup Kitchen because it’s the right thing to do, and you have to take care of your larger unit to have anything like a chance at anyone’s survival. They all figured you should volunteer at such things because it will make you feel better about yourself. You should resolve to find your passion; care less about what others think and need; Travel for the sake of your own enjoyment; essentially, do things for yourself only.
I understand there is a basic human need to feel you belong, and to perhaps feel as if you are independent. However, taking this to the extreme advocated by most of these lists are based on momentary, fleeting, or entirely unimportant, self-gratification objectives. If this is what the majority of people are thinking of routinely, it explains a lot about the current state of the country and the world.
According to Aristotle, we are the things we routinely do. If we are only ever concerned with ourselves, and isolated from the rest of humanity, we’re routinely doing nothing important: If you use the formula above, it should leave no doubt about the inevitable conclusion we should be coming to.
Maybe it would be a better idea to resolve to care far more about what other people think, need, and desire. Maybe we should be looking to share in others’ suffering more than simply avoiding discomfort. Maybe we should be looking to pull others out of suffering, even at our own disadvantage. Maybe we should be thinking in terms of getting the entire group out of a bad situation, not just ourselves. Maybe, at the very least, we should be looking to end problems in which we are trapped alongside thousands of others, as a unit, instead of each fighting against the problem and each other.
We should be looking for something far more than a set of objectives which can be accomplished in a year, and upgrade from looking at campaigns to looking at a war: Where do you want your much larger unit (Be that a country, state, city, town, family, or what-have-you) to end up, and what will it take to get there in terms of time, resources, skills and sacrifice?
Maybe we should just resolve to figure out where the unit needs to get to, and what threats lie in the way. And maybe, most importantly, we should try to figure out what the casualties are going to be like if we take that option. Because we might just find the track we are currently on is going to make us a Forlorn Hope, and cost us too much to achieve too little for too few.
Maybe we have to realize if we’re going to get to where we need to be as a Nation, we’ve got to seriously consider the fact that we cannot bring everything with us. We need to face the fact that when you cannot save everything, you have to leave something behind, no matter how painful that may be, in order to save something far more important. And, in all reality, you have to know what you’re going to burn and what you are going to save before the crisis comes.
So maybe a really good New Year’s Resolution is to figure out three things, at every level from yourself to the Nation: Where we must go, What we must save, and What we must burn. When you do this, you have to consider with an open mind, whether something dear to you is part of what must be burned. I think if most of us considered such things more often, the world would be a better place. If most of us set the metaphorical charges on what must be left behind, the world might be a much better place. If most of us lit the fuses and started moving, the world would be a far better place indeed.
Or, maybe you should just resolve to have dessert for breakfast, and breakfast food for dinner. I’m not sure.