Friday, January 2, 2009

Resolutions

Every year, about this time, most of us make resolutions for the new year. We resolve to lose weight, to use credit less, to eat at home more. We resolve to finish the things we'd started that need to be finished before we can move on to other things.

Why?

Because we all know that we're capable of being better than what we are.

That ability to better ourselves is what makes us Man and not beast. Of all of the creatures on the face of the earth, humanity alone is capable of denying his lower nature and reaching to become something better. Something more.

Few of us keep those resolutions through the entire year, but we make them. And many of us try to keep them. Most slip once, and decide that since they slipped, they've failed, and stop trying.

Of course they slip. Everyone does. Just because we're capable of bettering ourselves doesn't mean it's easy; in point of fact, it's almost impossible without determination and support. For example, say someone resolves that they'll quit smoking in the new year. They throw away their cigarettes, and declare that they're done.

For some that works. For others, however, it simply doesn't. It doesn't mean that they're weak, just that they need something to step in and help them quit smoking, whether that something is a nicotine patch, a self-help group, or a supportive friend or loved one to nag them about it.

If they falter and have a cigarette, they haven't failed--only slipped. Unless they decide it's too hard, and give up the attempt completely.

For the past several weeks, I've written about the Seven Deadly Sins (six down, one to go). At the end of each post, I mention that it's hard, but not impossible to fight the lower part of human nature that leads us into these faults. It's easily said, but not easily done.

However, nothing worth doing is easily done. Remember that when you slip with your New Year's Resolution. You've only failed if you stop trying to keep it.

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