By now a lot of people would’ve written pages of new year resolutions. Action plans. Lots of ink on papers, new memos on smart phones, folders in systems and many more. A long list of “I won’t drink alcohol anymore”, “I’ll stop gambling”, “I will quit that my vocation that makes people cry and suffer”, “I won’t waste quality time or procrastinate”, “I will not lust after ladies”, “I’ll do away with that cheap weed”, “I’ll change my boxers/undies often”, “I will let my neighbour’s chickens live in peace”. . . and many others more.
Some of these resolutions would be very serious as the first set, or a bit humorous as the last few, but they’re plans and decisions to make the new year a better one. Now that resolution has actually lost its meaning, the question that begs to be answered is this: How far will the resolutions go? Even though a well spelt out resolution could be an important step to a successful year, without the strong will and determination to see the plans through, it is nothing better than a book in which kids practice their writing skills. Nothing else.
For a person who wants to stop taking alcohol but still moves around to beer joints with “happening” pals, or someone who wants to break out of sex addiction but still keeps pornography handy, a big hard-cover book or a large folder of resolutions would be pure waste of time. Practical joke.
What is the significance of new year resolutions when there are no aiding plans and execution procedures? A child is said to be dull and not brilliant, then one went ahead to say he has good handwriting. Did the two even correlate? Is one significant on the other? Resolution is a good start, but the actual resolving within oneself is an expedient wherewithal to accomplish the stated plans.
Related to this is the sacrilege people attach to the first day, or the first few days of the new year. Many erroneously believe that what we do and stand for at the beginning of the year depicts what the rest of the year will turn out to be. For this reason, we move around courtly, dropping the bad behaviours and acting all religiously like saints even though it’s a pseudo-attitude desired, one we can barely keep up with. No one calls a hurdler a success just by his first few impressive dashes and jumps. His consistency to the end is what will make him victorious. Ceteris paribus.
I couldn’t hold back the smile when someone began to act all pastor-ly, stressing that I was supposed to spend the first day of the year (at least the first few hours) in church, or on something very productive, and not on my bed thinking or doing just nothing. Although I did cross-over in church and was there till around 1am (as if 1am is still an hour in the previous year), I still don’t have any problem with the idea and the other one. I know it’s good to start everything on a good note. Even if I had not prayed in my bed that same day, say I was pinging, enlarging avis, listening to secular musics (especially the very silly ones), and eating everything that comes my way, does it mean that the rest of my year is doomed? Does it mean I won’t be productive or act rightly in that year?
Let’s turn it around. So I spent the first week of the year in church, clad in white robe, fasting and praying fervently, entirely secluded from the outside world and the uncleanliness therein. Will those make me a clean, holy, law abiding, embezzlement-hating, corrupto-phobic, weed-free, less bimbos-craving, non PHCN-cursing, and very productive citizen in the remaining 358 days? I’d like you to answer this.
The beginning of anything is equally as important as the end, even the entire length of the line joining the two. I stumbled upon a friend’s brief piece on facebook and it accurately corroborated my thought. I’ll write nothing more because he said it all. He wrote thus:
“I sometimes dread the importance folks attach to the first day of January. We believe anything we do on that “sacred” day becomes the order of the things and transcends the entire year. It is don’t sleep too much, don’t talk too much. . . don’t this and that too much and all other self imposed rules. It makes me wonder; so a drunkard who spent the whole first day of January in the sanctuary would automatically enjoy divine tranquillity through the year even though he resumes his official drinking duty the next day? It’s quite important to state that the agitation for a beginning and the anticipation for an ending is quite as important as the MEANS. Don’t be carried away by the frenzy of beginning that you forget that you are already in a means to an END. No matter how colourful and enticing the cover page and title of a book are, they are as good as the content embedded therein. We’ve started unfolding the blank pages of 2014 one after the other. What are you going to write? You decide.”
Yes. Now you decide.
Many thanks to Tolulope John. Wishing everyone a prosperous new year.