February 6, 2023

As 2020 comes to a close, I cannot help but assert a personal tradition that has become part and parcel of the beginning of each and every year – making resolutions.
It was my late mother who told me the importance of making New Year’s resolutions. When I was about the age of five, she doggedly encouraged me to make at least one at thxe beginning of the year because accordingly, it is the only way I can improve myself and in the process improve the community where I belong. Thus, as every New Year starts, I would resolve not to drink wine, not to smoke, not to eat too much, not to lie, to be kinder to my neighbors, to go to mass on a regular basis, to study harder, to care more, etc., etc. Oh yes, I also resolved to give more to the poor and the needy with an open heart.
As I grew older, I realized that making resolutions was the easy part. Complying with it was quite different. Promising to do something or to avoid doing something the coming year was a lip service that was conveniently forgotten a few days after the same was made. All too often, the resolutions were the very acts that I violated the soonest. Out of a hundred resolutions, I confess that I may only fulfilled one. Had I complied with the resolutions I made through the years, I would have been a perfect person. I would have been the healthiest, wealthiest and the most liked being in this part of the world. Obviously, I am not.
I have no regrets though. I think it is all too human to make resolutions and fail to comply with them. It is normal to make promises to oneself and fail to abide by it. The frailness of humanity makes it a part of our nature to seek fulfilment the easy way. Putting ourselves on a spot is not an easy way. In fact, abiding with what we resolved to do the following year is taking away the fun of living since life is not at all a virtue. There are necessary vices that put meaning into our existence.
Can you imagine yourself not getting angry or jealous or afraid because you resolved to? Can you put yourself in a position of being so nice and submissive all the time leaving no room for debate or argument for what is best for everyone because you promised to? Boring, is it not? A life that is made up of fulfilled resolutions is a life that is far from the truth. Life is more than a dream. It is a reality apt with challenges, unfairness and pitfalls. The sooner we realize this, the better it is for us.
So, does it mean that I stopped making New Year’s resolutions? Of course not. Only now, I am more realistic. My resolutions no longer concern myself. That is self-centered and egoistic. It is no longer made up of promises that I am certain I will not keep anyway. My resolutions are now hopes and wishes. Wishes for the betterment of everybody and hope that it will become a reality. In this manner, I will not feel guilty as sin if it does not come into fruition. At least I tried, if not physically then mentally. It is up to God if He will grant it or not.
This year, my resolution is for people of the world to start the year with a wise attitude. That 2021 will usher in a new beginning for all of us mentally and physically. That the vaccine against the Covid-19 will work like a miracle and restore our lives to a new normal where everybody can socialize, interact and mingle without fear. That Pfizer-Moderna and all other companies that developed the antidote against the pandemic will price their products fairly and allow it to reach the households of every Filipino the soonest. Happy New Year to all!

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