“The impulses of nature, then, contain hindrances to the fulfilment of duty in the mind of man, and resisting forces, some of them powerful; and he must judge himself able to combat these and to conquer them by means of reason, not in the future, but in the present, simultaneously with the thought; he must judge that he can do what the law unconditionally commands that be ought.”
The metaphysical elements of ethics, Emmanuel Kant
So, what are you going to do this new years. Unlike so many other days of the year, you have the choice to make a resolution. You can look at your flaws and imperfections and decide that because it is a magical day of the calendar you can transform yourself into the person you want to be. Not the person you are right now, because right now, right here, is very rarely enough.
How many people can honestly say that they make a resolution not to make a resolution? Isn’t that just planning on not to plan! Is that not the same as saying I’m thinking about pondering? It’s not that there isn’t true desire to want to be something better, but it’s the actuality that people can’t see that things aren’t really so bad to begin with. Thus comes the new years day facepalm that makes you start to make subtle changes, temporarily, in your life.
Why is this, why can’t people stick the to notion that the idea that they have on December 31st is the person they really want to be for the next stretch of time. What we think we’re supposed to be at the end of December might be very different than who we want to be at the end of July. What if you plan on getting in shape in order to land a date, you land dates, but realize that they’re all seated in the fact that you have this nonsustainable body that will go to pot once you get into a comfort zone. Also, those that plan on saving pennies for tomorrow, what happens when you’ve amassed a fortune but have had to live the life of a miser to get there? What have you missed out on? What carnal pleasures did you deprive yourself from in order to try to be the person you thought you wanted to be at the end of December?!
The problem with resolutions is that they are often time regulated by what we feel other people want us to be, or behave like. Instead of making our own laws for life we surround ourselves with the ideas from others as to what we have to be to make them happy. Lives becomes constantly in a shadow of what we’re “supposed to behave like” and most of the time it’s only to suit the needs of other selfish individuals. Those that strive for financial competition, bigger house for example, are sometimes surrounded by the fact that they only live where they do to “fit in”. We find ourselves joining clubs we feel awkward in and gyms we feel flabby in because it’s what other people are doing. They’re making the laws, you’re following them…but why, who’s going to punish you if you don’t?
Simple, you’re the policeman of your life, and although there are certain undisputable laws of the land, there are interpersonal lastly that we set for ourselves without realizing it. You have to wear designer jeans, you have to drive a foreign car, you have to have the hottest date, you have to get action in bed the most. All of those things, if you were to take yourself into a private situation, are they still as import? Do you still care?
The worst thing about realizing your playing a fake war in the dirt with plastic soldiers is that you have to decide to stop. How long are you going to keep up this battle. How long are you going to be a slave to your new years resolutions before you realize you’re doing them for alternate reasons.
Health wise we can all improve. Financially, we can all stand to be more frugal when it comes to frivolous purchases. Relationship wise we can all improve on being more understanding. But, really, why can’t this happen all the time just because it’s the right thing to do? It’s a mystery, we still spend, eat, and screw too much. It’s all a matter of priorities. You are more in control of yourself than you think, you just let others take the reigns.
So, I raise my glass to a resolution of becoming your own lawmaker. Give into your compulsions, but in moderation. Resist temptation when it’s dangerous, and always be your own lawman. Be strong enough to just say no.