A Resolution For 2013
For the past few New Year’s, I have had a list of 10 resolutions, the rationale being that by casting a wide net I will be able to accomplish several goals for a particular year. The most I’ve ever achieved was 4, a far cry from a full 10 but still a fine accomplishment in my book. I haven’t reviewed them for 2012 yet, but I know I’ve accomplished at least one of them: get healthy (I’ve lost 45lbs and significantly changed my diet). So as the new year approaches, I’ve started giving consideration to my 2013 Resolutions. And then today, I had an emotional breakdown regarding the Connecticut School Shooting. I am about as emotionally detached as a person can be, so my version of an emotional breakdown involves 5 minutes of intense sobbing followed by an unhealthy amount of binge eating (ex. a whole box of Ellio’s Pizza). I find the amount of cruelty and viciousness in this world to be so overwhelming sometimes that I just want to crawl under my bed and never come out. In the wake of epic tragedies like the one today, everyone has an opinion about why it happened, how it can be fixed/prevented from happening again, and how to move on. And the discussion could never end because every day horrible, terrible things are happening all over the place. And we can all talk and talk until we are blue in the face and more than likely, nothing will ever be done to fix anything. And, as a solitary person in a world of 12 billion people, it seems as if most of us can do nothing more than just shrug our shoulders, say “what can you do?,” and pray to our respective higher powers (mine are The Great Cosmic Whale-Gods) that we aren’t stepped on or victimized by one of our fellow men. This helplessness is intensified, for me at least, by the realization that we are all just specks of dust in the history of time, mere drops in the bucket of the infinite years that have passed and will continue to pass long after we are gone. So what’s the point of all this? In my continual effort to support the power of positive thinking in my own life, I refuse to admit that this life is pointless. And, since I am alive for just this split second in time, I figure I’d better make the best of it. So, for 2013 (and hopefully the rest of my life) I resolve the following:
In the movieRoad House, Patrick Swayze plays a Zen bouncer who has three simple rules for bouncing, the third of which is “be nice.” Of course, at the end of the movie, Swayze rips out a man’s throat and kills all his enemies. Spoiler alert: not very nice. But what can you expect from a movie whose director is named Rowdy? Anyway, I am stealing the third rule and appropriating it for my own life.
I will be nice. Always. I will always speak nice of everyone. When I have nothing nice to say, I will force myself to find something nice to say. Or I will say nothing. I will avoid gossip, slander, and general trash talk. I will purge my brain of negative thoughts about others. I will be patient and welcoming to all. I will actively try to understand other people’s perspectives. I will treat others with the respect that all human beings deserve. When I have a difference of opinion with someone, I will not think less of them. I will celebrate our differences.
I will be actively nice. I will go out of my way to help others. I will always have a compliment on hand. I will practice generosity, thankfulness, and humility. I will give more than I take. I will, to the best of my ability, emotionally and physically support those around me. If I find I am not doing an adequate job at this, I will work to get better at it. I will put others’ thoughts and concerns ahead of mine. I will help others find ways to spread the niceness around.
I will be nice to myself. I will be less hard on myself when I think I have screwed up. I will treat myself with the respect I hope to receive from others. I will take care of myself both emotionally and physically. I will cultivate my creativity so that I may accurately display my emotions. I will let myself be open to new experiences so that I can capture as much life as possible.
I will let the niceness wash over me. It will permeate my skin, my muscles, my bones. It will become synonymous with my name, my being. It will radiate from me towards others. It will bring upon the change that I want to see in my tiny, microcosmic world. It will help others transform themselves into nicer beings.
So what is the point of all this? Why be nice? I’d rather ask, “why not be nice?” We have this one instant, this moment that will be gone in the blink of an eye. And we can make a choice. Are we going to fill it with strife? Or, are we going to fill it with kindness? In my mind, however naive it may be, the nice route is the only option, not just for myself, but for everyone else around me. And being nice is so much easier than filling your life with hatred and arguments. So when the Great Cosmic Whale-Gods swallow us up in their cavernous stomachs, we can at least rest soundly that we were a force for good during our brief moment here on Earth.
Please, let’s all be nice to one another.