Each year, at the start of the New Year, we take pause to think about the things that we did last year that we just as soon would not repeat this year. They were mostly things that were unproductive, or hurt other people or us. For some of us this desire to not repeat, comes in the form of a resolution, but for many of us it’s just time to reflect and try to clean up our act a little. If all of the resolutions that have been made over the years were actually kept, this nation would be a much better place to live. But as has been said, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I know I have failed miserably at this many times. Always because I wasn’t serious about it in the first place but also because I promised things that weren’t really possible for me to do. I have rethought this whole process and I am vowing to take these promises more seriously or not do them at all. I don’t want to be disingenuous.
The word resolution has many meanings but the one we are most familiar with, as it pertains to New Years, means to be determined not to do something that we have been doing, again. The second meaning that I am drawn to means finding a peaceful solution to a problem. It doesn’t necessary mean you have to entirely compromise your beliefs but structure them in such a way to make them more acceptable to others. A little give and take if you would.
I think this year will be a year of reckoning for our country. A year when people in Washington and party hopefuls that want to be there, need to be thinking about being more of a problem solver and less of problem makers. That being so resolute in their thinking and beliefs and not leaving any room for compromise will not solve anything. That candidates making promises they can’t keep is lying and wrong. We have all been there before and saw the results. One thing that always comes up in resolutions is the act of looking back, albeit briefly. Now that being said no one in today’s political climate would ever admit that they did anything wrong so how can you resolve to change with that attitude? Their opponents on the other hand are more interested in what the other party did wrong, then anything they themselves did right. Basically nothing constructive will ever come from that.
So this year I say this. We need to look ahead and set some goals and try to get there and if we don’t — lets just say that in our heart of hearts we will know we tried our best. It’s a big mess and it will take time. Let’s not waste energy on talking about all of the things that went wrong in the past but just resolve to do better going forward. No promises, just an earnest effort to solve our problems in government and at home. There was a time when this country was looked up to as the best of the best. A place that epitomized freedom and opportunity and people flocked from all over the world just to be a part of it. But something changed after World War II and we lost all of that good will we had fought so hard to grow and protect. We went from being respected, to being hated. We need to build that respect again and hopefully someday we will be emulated again. In the meantime we need to build character. Ben Franklin said, “How few there are that have the courage to own their faults, or resolution enough to change them.” Let’s prove Ben wrong and be more then a few.
MIKE HOLST is a resident of Crosslake.