Being a writer, I’m very aware of the semantic trappings of New Year’s Resolutions. Dictionary.com defines resolution as “the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute.”
To be resolute in purpose is to be goal driven. Humans are goal driven creatures, and it’s only a short jump to understand why we are so drawn to making resolutions, even when we don’t really believe we can be resolute in making them come true.
But resolution also has an optical definition: the act, property, or capability of distinguishing between two separate but adjacent objects or sources of light or between two nearly equal wavelengths.
Taken together, resolution becomes an act of distinguishing between our desires and our goals, which may exist on separate wavelengths, and may carry separate obstacles and value to our lives. In this vein, New Year’s becomes a time of reflection that is inseparable from our most mindful self, and may present a mirror we don’t necessarily wish to look into. Like a magic mirror, this reflection holds not only our own image, made of the present and past merged together, but also the wake we may create with each step, every potential future ripple of that wake just beyond our reach and waiting to be examined. Our resolutions are not merely acts of atonement, an effort to “do better,” but the manifestation of the worth of our desires to impact others going forward. In thinking about our resolutions, it’s no less important to wonder how our resolve to bring together our desires and goals may affect others, how we may spin the world further on its axis in a way that improves the world, while leaving us more enlightened than we were before. Our resolutions may, at times, seem insignificant, but the ripples they create deserve our consideration in a world where wavelengths travel so very easily.
So this year I resolve to think not only about my resolutions, but also of the impact they may have on others, and my responsibility of citizenship and stewardship for them. By doing so, I hope to look at the world with more love and a little bit less resistance.
Happy New Year.