However, for many, this time of year is one where the concept of change is not so scary. It is traditionally held to be time for new beginnings, and change is more easy to swallow when we know many will participate WITH us. So we make resolutions; promises to ourselves on how we will make our life better in the future. And we will start with pure intent and full energy … at first. But after a few weeks (if even THAT long) many of us find ourselves slipping back to the comfort zone. The result being nothing really changes. And in twelve months, we try again.
Being comfortable with our lives is not in itself a bad thing. Ultimately it is what we ALL seek. But if that comfort is at the expense of others, and we WILLINGLY do not choose to acknowledge this … that is when we need to take a good look at ourselves. Worse yet, when we create justifications for choosing to ignore that which should not be ignored, what does that say about us? Some say ignorance is bliss. The primary reason for the accuracy of this statement is that ignorance often allows us to hide from unpleasant truths. We might be able to forgive ignorance from a lack of proper tools to understand. But when the ignorance is WILLFUL … is that truly forgivable?
So how do we avoid repeating the same mistake? A few suggestions:
- Stop turning the world into US and THEM. Generalizations are simply good excuses for bad behavior. Just because one person acts a certain way does not mean ALL similar people will act in the same way. That is no reason to ignore that which we do not like about the situations of other.
- “It is not my problem!” is NEVER an acceptable answer for anything. If we can perceive that a problem exists, then it becomes our problem at that very moment.
I said “Somebody should do something about that.” Then I realized I am somebody.
- Imagine ourselves in the same situation as others. Empathy is KEY to change for the better. That goes along with the whole US and THEM concept. There must be something wrong with THEM … why should I help? Try imagining how our life would be in their situation. It’s all well and good to say, “I would never do THAT!” when we have never faced the difficulties those who have done THAT have faced.
- Remember that we are just one of billions. Our needs are not more important than anyone else’s … simply because we have decided they are. That kind of thinking is nothing more than selfishness. If this is the way we choose to be, so be it. But stop claiming some moral superiority based on that choice. All such choices guarantee is that NOTHING will ever really change.
Resolutions are meaningless unless we commit to them wholeheartedly. And maybe the ones we don’t manage to commit to fail because we KNOW in our hearts that they are ultimately pointless. Try something new. If we truly want the world to change even just a little, think long and hard on what it is we will be changing … and at whose expense. If we think all is just fine as it is, why make a resolution at all? But be prepared to have a lot of discomfort of the soul with this choice. For it will soon become evident that much is NOT just fine as it is.