Weekly Opinion Editorial
I AM RESOLVED!
by Steve Fair
Yesterday was New Years- the start of 2013. Many people made New Years resolutions. A New Year's resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. People committing themselves to a New Year's resolution generally plan to follow through for the whole following year.
Making resolutions has a long history. The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year and Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. Puritans avoided the indulgences associated with New Year’s celebrations and other holidays. In the 18th century, American Puritans avoiding even naming Janus. Instead they called January “First Month.”
The Puritans urged their children to skip the revelry and celebrations of a New Year and instead spend their time reflecting on the year past and contemplating the year to come. They encouraged their children to make resolutions. These were enumerated as commitments to better employ their talents, treat their neighbors with charity, and avoid habitual sins.
Jonathan Edwards, the great American theologian, took the writing of resolutions to an art form. During a two year period after he had graduated from Yale and at the ripe old age of 19, Edwards compiled seventy resolutions which he committed to review each week for the rest of his life. Many modern day Christians prepare for the New Year ahead by praying and making resolutions. The United States federal government even has a website where citizens can get help to achieve their resolutions http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/New-Years-Resolutions. But just how successful are people at keeping New Year’s resolutions?
According to a study by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol that involved 3,000 people, 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail. That is despite the fact that 52% of the study's participants were confident of success at the beginning. Men achieved their goal 22% more often than women.
Frank Ra, author of “A Course in Happiness,” says, "Resolutions are more sustainable when shared, both in terms of with whom you share the benefits of your resolution, and with whom you share the path of maintaining your resolution. Peer-support makes a difference in success rate with new year's resolutions". So you shouldn’t keep your resolutions secret. You should share your intents to reform with friends and family. It will provide you accountability and help you stay committed to the resolution.
Unlike Edwards resolutions which involved his spiritual life, most modern day resolutions involve selfish goals of health and wealth. The top resolutions involve losing weight, getting in shape, eating healthy, and stop drinking. While those are excellent goals, they are not in the same league as those made by Edwards. You can read his resolutions at http://www.newreformationministries.org/The%20Resolutions%20of%20Jonathan%20Edwards.pdf.
As we enter into 2013, we must resolve to pay attention to our government more than just every two years when major elections are held. We are, after all, self governed. That means you and I are the boss. We must resolve to keep elected officials, at all levels, accountable for their actions and to make sure they follow the U.S. Constitution. We must resolve we will work to elect people, at all levels, who understand we cannot spend more than we take in as a government if we expect to survive. We must resolve to vote in every election- local, state and federal. We must resolve to ask questions of elected officials, express our opinion in a civil manner, and make sure our voice is heard in our government.
John Adams said “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people,” and Thomas Jefferson said simply “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free… it expects what never was and never will be.”
It’s important we resolve to educate ourselves on the issues and have knowledge of our government. Here are two opportunities for citizens to be educated and to get involved in their government.
On Saturday January 26th at 6pm, the SCGOP will host Wallbuilders for the 8th consecutive year. This year, Texas State Representative Matt Krause will be speaking. The event will be at 6pm at the Stephens County Fairgrounds. It is free to the public.
On Thursday February 7th, the Stephens County Republican Party will hold precinct meetings and our County Convention. The GOP is organized from the precinct level up. All registered Republicans are encouraged to attend.
Resolve to join us!