Should you resolve to hit the gym more this year? Maybe most of us could stand a little more exercise, but that’s a question we should ask our doctors, if we’re lucky enough to have them.
One thing we can suggest is that people resolve to not unleash the first, angriest response they have to… well, to anything.
When a piece of news first appears, there’s a tendency – especially when we are tired, or stressed out, which let’s face it, is most of the time – to respond less than charitably.
Car crash? Probably some jackass driving too fast, or drunk, or on his cellphone.
More homeless on the streets? They should get a job!
Taxes going up? Someone’s got their hand in the till!
You’ve probably thought something like this at some point or other. Most of us have. It’s a natural way to try to pretend that we’re in control.
We’re not going to crash our car, we know what we’re doing.
We’ll never be homeless, that happens to other people, never to people like us!
And of course, if we were in charge, the government would never go over budget, on anything.
By the way, how well did you do sticking to your Christmas present budget this year?
The first, unkindest response is the one that shields us from our fears. It also layers us in a protective callus of cynicism that makes it harder to consider reaching out a helping hand, or even just appreciating that some problems are really complicated, and don’t have easy answers.
So whatever else we resolve this year, let’s resolve to peel off at least a little bit of that protective layer.
Approaching the world that way is a little more painful, and confusing, but it can lead us to a place where we might be better able to tackle some of the big problems we’re facing, in the new year.