New Year’s Eve traditions will prompt festive parties where friends and loved ones gather for one last bash of the year. Some individuals approach the evening as a way to say good-bye to alleged failures and shortcomings of the previous 12 months while others are more reflective to the goodness they found. Whether the past is seen as good or bad, this celebratory moment causes most people to usher in an array of wishes, hopes, and personal promises to make the future brighter than before.
While a lot of personal year-end reflection is often self-focused on resolutions to benefit our intimate humanly existence, tragic events that marked the end of this year have a lot of people reflecting outward. Moving away from the lofty goals of how much personal success one can achieve, general conversation now frequently focuses on resolutions of what one’s role will be in making the world and kinder and gentler place to live. Typical end-of-year festiveness has a somber feel to it this year.
An acquaintance of mine calls it responsible resolve when we make the decision to think of others more than we think of ourselves. As far as New Year’s resolutions go, I suppose this statement is true because people generally focus on bad habits to give up or on implanting new plans of personal health or wealth. Resolving to make the world a better place is much different, and perhaps a somewhat non-traditional, type of personal New Year resolution.
While it may seem futile to assume that we, as individuals, have the capacity to make a lasting change, believers think otherwise. These responsible resolve idealists believe that performing acts of kindness or other promotions of peace and harmony are how we demonstrate goodness to be found in our society. The difference between the naysayers and the optimists is the concept of time.
Being nice and thoughtful is a concept that we should follow every day but rushed lifestyles often stand in the way. When we are rushing through the daily grind, we may become somewhat neglectful to others. Surely we may notice that others are near, but our focus on time-sensitive matters often prevents us from really paying attention to what these others are doing or saying.
There is a lot to be said for the smile and eye-contact we offer when conversing with others. Likewise, instead of putting out all the clues on how hurried we are, such as checking our watch or shuffling our feet, providing undivided attention goes a long way in demonstrating how we feel about the other person we are in contact with. Those feelings then transfer to allow the other person to make sense of his or her place in the world. Both children and adults need this sense of belonging.
Understanding that we belong to something more than what we are on our own is perhaps the greatest benefit to society. Those who feel like outsiders in their own surroundings may not feel the connections that are necessary for peaceful existence with his or her fellow man or woman. In that regard, being attentive and thoughtful may well bring us all closer together provided we have the mental capacity for such understanding.
Communication techniques described above may fall short for those suffering mental conditions. In that case, our duties as fellow humans become even greater. The responsible resolve mentioned by my friend must include our awareness to those who need some sort of medical or psychological intervention in order to co-exist peacefully and/or feel a sense of connection. Noticing peculiarities and then reporting such to the proper authorities is of great importance. It cannot be accomplished though unless we take the time to truly pay attention to what is occurring around us.
New Year’s resolutions come in all shapes and sizes. No matter what yours are for the upcoming 12 months, best wishes in reaching your goals.