With this being New Year’s Day, 45 percent of Americans will make resolutions. But only 8 percent are successful in achieving their goals. Since I am a Gemini and we have a penchant for not completing anything, I have learned over the years to not make a resolution as it would just be another source of failure.
The resolution tradition goes back to the Babylonians more than 4,000 years ago. Their new year began in mid-March, coinciding with the start of spring, and consisted of reaffirming their loyalty to the king and promises of repaying debts and returning borrowed items. Perhaps this should be re-instilled in today’s society; some of the items I have loaned out would look nice in their former home.
The Romans modified the tradition as Julius Caesar changed the calendar and established Jan. 1 as the start of the new year. Janus — for which the month was named — was a two-faced god (literally, not like the duplicity we encounter daily) who looked backwards into the previous year and forward into the future. Thus people would look back at last year and vow to change going forward. But more importantly, resolutions had a moral nature to them, that is, making a promise of good conduct for the upcoming year.
So if the annual gym membership really should be included as a loss or donation on your tax form or if curbing some act is little more than a nod of acknowledgment, consider something easy. As many of you have already done, you could volunteer at any of the endless endeavors that are occurring here. Or even better yet, you could just try being kinder to friends, family and coworkers — now that was not so hard was it?
Bill Smith is the director of the Robeson County Health Department