Last year, when I called my parents to wish them a Happy New Year, my dad answered the phone. "Well, Dad, what’s your New Year’s resolution?” I asked him. "To make your mother as happy as I can all year," he answered proudly. Then mom got on, and I said, "What’s your resolution, Mom?" "To see that your dad keeps his New Year’s resolution!"
We are all aware that it is that time of year again: the time to make our resolutions for the coming year. And well we should. For, as Robert Chambers pointed out over a century ago…
"The man who does not at least propose to himself to be better this year than he was last must be either very good or very bad indeed. And only to propose to be better is something, for there is no such thing as a stationary point in human endeavors; he who is not worse today than he was yesterday is better, and he who is not better is worse.” (Source: The Book of Days, A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar, by Robert Chambers: http://books.google.com/books).
Thus, like many of you, I am spending this particular week thinking of areas in my life that could stand to be improved. To be honest, that includes just about every component of my life. And yet, I instinctively know that certain areas in my life are more in need of attention than other areas are.
Of course, the particular areas of my life or of your life that are in need of attention are less consequential than the underlying principle at stake here. My challenge is to improve my life by resolving to do better in any area of my own life that may need improving. And the same could be said for you, and for every other person.
The real question, then, is whether or not you, I, or any other person actually takes the initiative in order to make whatever changes are called for. For my part, I at least intend to try. I hope you will as well. As we do, perhaps we might just succeed in making those needed changes, and thereby improve our lives in the process.
And who knows, as we do, we may just inspire others to try as well. But if we never take the initiative, we will not accomplish anything. As General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was renowned for having put it,
"You may be whatever you resolve to be. Determine to be something in the world, and you will be something. "I cannot" never accomplished anything; "I will try" has wrought wonders." (Source: http://dragoon1st.tripod.com/cw/files/journal_jackson.html).