Tuesday, 1 January 2013

56 - To Resolve To

There is a part of the Bible that reads something like:

Come now, those of you that say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and do trade and make some profit”. You do not know what tomorrow will bring. You are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wants it to be so then we will live well or do this or that."

I almost agree with the sentiment here, which I believe comes from one of Paul's letters. It should be that we live in each moment, sucking the marrow out of life.There should be no tomorrow or today as far as our resolve goes. And yet, I find myself drawn to make some kind of resolution.

I read somewhere that the habit of making a new year's resolution goes back to the Babylonians. This instinct of mine seems more ancient somehow. It is a worrying instinct, a fear of standing still. During pauses the pains of the past do not disappear, but hope can be seen. This time of the year, the end and beginning, when one can see the struggles behind and the possibilities ahead, is the one time when I can imagine wishing it all well.

In general this should be a year-long struggle but if I am to set goals then I should begin with a list of promises. I promise not to give up before getting out of bed; I promise not to cry into my cornflakes; I promise not to shout at strangers. These are just examples

If I were sensible, since most of my goals are ill-defined, I would bring together a committee to decide what resolutions I should make. As it stands, I can only see this much: we don't have one answer but it helps to work towards something.

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