Archive for Thursday, January 6, 2011

Resolve to be happy

January 6, 2011

A long time ago someone came up with the concept of New Year’s resolutions, and it is probably a good idea to take a long look at life and begin thinking about ways to improve. Certainly, we can always evaluate our lives and make changes for the better.

No one knows for sure exactly when the custom of making resolutions started. Some say it had to do with religion and was a way to urge sinners to repent and live better lives. Another source says the practice dates back to ancient times when persons paid all bills and resolved all obligations before the new year started. The practice has endured, although most resolutions now probably include losing weight, getting more exercise, quitting smoking, etc. While there are those who are successful, I suspect most resolutions are broken by Easter.

This year I am going to abandon my usual resolution concerning losing weight and look at some more serious resolutions. Incidentally, I have probably lost a ton of weight over the years and gained it back again. This year, getting sick took the weight off, but I certainly don’t recommend it.

I resolve to be joyful every day. There is so much fun around us. For example, I find great joy in looking out of the window now. I enjoy watching the birds and squirrels frolic. I took special notice of the changing seasons this year. I resolve to be more observant in the future and to enjoy nature. Well, of course that doesn’t include the deer when they nosh on the flowers.

I think we all need to resolve to be more tolerant of others and their opinions. Sadly, we are in a cycle when we expect to be able to express our opinions, but we aren’t interested in hearing from anyone who disagrees with us. There is a national bad habit of demonizing anyone who has a differing opinion. We spend far too much time shouting and not enough time listening. Sometimes this goes too far and we think the person is evil just because they have a differing opinion. I know it is much easier to think that we are always right, but none of us are correct in our opinions all of the time. Maybe if we listened more we could have a better understanding of the issues.

I resolve to always look at the big picture. By that I mean I will look at all the possible outcomes of an issue. I have said this before but the result of an action is never as good as those who favored it and it is never as bad as those who opposed it. The truth is always somewhere in the middle.

It seems to me that it is important to strive each day to make the world a better place to live. I resolve to leave the world a better place than it was when I was born. Certainly, there is a lot that we can do, ranging from volunteering to working on a worthy cause or something as simple as not littering. Everyone can take part in recycling. It doesn’t matter how big or small the project is, the important thing is that you take care of the earth and endeavor to do your part.

I resolve to remember the Optimist Club creed: Expect the best and work toward the best. I hope you will join me in looking for the best in everyone and in every situation. I have always been an optimistic person, and I have no intention of changing now.

I plan to be happy every day. Really, there is no reason to be unhappy, because if there is something wrong you have only two choices. You can either accept the situation or you can work to change it. In my opinion, it is better to try to change the situation for the better or at least try to make a difference.

Maybe I can sum this up by saying I resolve to live by the Golden Rule. I am going to try to treat everyone the way I would like to be treated. By following that simple plan, I will have a wonderful year.

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