Thursday, December 13, 2007

The unnecessary...

So how do you feel about New Year's resolutions? I personally find them inefficient. If I want to resolve to do/not do something I can do it at any point in the year. I suppose that the idea is that you are starting a whole new, heretofore unadulterated, year and thus can leave the past behind you and strike out on a new path, new leaf close to hand. In my personal experience the past is never left behind you.
That sounds rather negative, and perhaps even a tad creepy ("Just what don't you understand about 'Leave me alone!', Past? Don't call me again!"), but I don't mean it that way. To the contrary, without our pasts we would be lost. Not just the good things, but the bad things as well, shape us into who we are. Bad things don't have to be a complete loss. As hard or unpleasant as it may be to face them, they shouldn't necessarily be buried or hidden. Pain can heal, and hurt can teach.
This year, sure I'll make a couple of resolutions, at the least for traditions sake. I will write them down in my journal and a year from now I'll look back and see how I did. If you ever see them you'll find that they tend to be rather vague, and quite often abstract. Hopefully, they'll never, ever take the form of wishing to change the past.

~ "Let no one delay the study of philosophy while young nor weary of it when old." ~
~ Epicurus - Letter to Menoeceus (Diogenes Laertius) 10.112


Ryan said...

I agree. I don't like NYRs, and I think in general they don't work for most people. If you really want to change yourself, just do it! That's really all there is to it, and making a trendy resolution isn't going to help. I think that our calendar is a bit arbitrary, and therefore making a resolution at the "start" of a new year really depends on your point of view.

I think I resolved several years ago not to make any more resolutions...ironically, it's the only one I've kept.

Also, I agree about your past. You should keep it and learn from it...even if this was something that took me a while to accept and appreciate.

Paul Kuliniewicz said...

I don't think it's necessary to have a new year's resolution. I mean, anything besides 1400x1050 and this laptop's screen looks terrible.

... Wait, what were we talking about?

luckeyfrog said...

I think the only big benefit to doing something at 'new years' is that there are some new starts. For instance, right now we'll have a new semester, so it's sort of a 'new beginning' if you have a school-related resolution. Plus, if other people are making resolutions at the same time, you can help keep each other accountable. I don't think resolutions work for most people, but maybe for some.

But I very much agree that you can change your life anytime, and usually it'll be sort of a gradual thing. And I absolutely agree that the past makes you who you are. I wonder sometimes what I'd be like without certain incidents to shape me, and it's hard to even imagine how different I might be. The good things change you somewhat, but I'd argue that the bad things in your life shape you even more.

Anyway, I don't usually do resolutions- partly because I doubt it'll change anything and partly because I have a hard time deciding what resolutions to make. :)