For those who make their “New Year's Resolution”, these are usually the days that they begin to think, decide and resolve what to change in their behavior, i.e., how to control oneself, what to do better. Thinking of these and those evil done – the bad perpetrated to family and friends, the hurt inflicted on others, the degradation done to oneself – this is the customary time when the old year is about to end, that they are thinking of the good things they promise to do throughout the coming new year, that they are making resolutions for observance in the year ahead. Thus is it that this Country at least, will certainly be a progressively better place to live in, if the “New Year's Resolutions” by both young and the old were vividly remembered and faithfully kept during the coming year 2010.
It is not simply fatal but also defeatist when people with a cruel laugh plus a big shrug say that “New Year's Resolutions” are made to be broken – that these are but some kind of a joke, a self-entertainment. This is neither true nor fair. Reason: One thing is he good will and resolve to behave well, to do better, and quite another is usual human forgetfulness and weakness that accompany such self-determination. Thus it is that the presumption of the elements of repentance and good will, stands in favor of those precisely making the resolutions to live and do better with the coming of the New Year. Hence the saying that a “New Year” inspires a “New Life” - something that implies denouncement of a bad “Old Life”.
There is however one singular and focal reality that those making “New Year's Resolution” may not but know and remember well. This: It is definitely not enough to commit oneself to avoid doing evil to others – without however promising as well to do good to others. Not doing evil is but one half of a real resolution. The other half is specifically to do good. As some kind of a generality, there are but some 10 evil things that people can do- based on the prohibitions forwarded by the Ten Commandments. But there are more than a million and one good things the same one can do to innumerable others.
When one resolves not to steal, he or she cannot but promise as well to return everything stolen, to be honest in dealing with everyone, to be upright in relating with others. When someone resolves not to lie, the same cannot but promise to tell the truth - “the whole truth and nothing but the truth” - no matter how this hurts him or her, irrespective of who is hurt, a friend or foe. When somebody resolves to live without the stain of illicit carnal relationship, this refers to not only somebody but also to everybody.
Hence, the prayer that is implied in every good “New Year's Resolution”: Forgive me for the evil I have done and for the good I have failed to do.
December 28, 2009