Resolve to be a Better You

Before I get into my post, I would like to take a moment to comment about the attack that took place in France at the Charlie Hebdo headquarters. I loathe the idea that anyone that disagrees with your ideals, religion or politics should be shot and killed as a result. I loathe the idea that people blame a religion for their radicals and lump them all up as the same. I also loathe the idea that as a writer, I should have to censor myself out of fear that myself or my family could be killed because I write anything and someone finds it offensive. I live in a place where I have the freedom to practice my art as I want, and I will be damned if anyone tries to tell me otherwise. I will not compromise who I am or the arts that I share with the world because some crazies with guns think they have more power than they do. They are just scared and blind followers of people that take the vulnerable and manipulate them into a cause that is not Islamic at all. They are the ones with the problem, not these victims of their senseless killing. One of the artists that was killed, Stephane Charbonnier, once said “I’d prefer to die standing than live on my knees” when he was first targeted, and this is something I absolutely agree with. To all the victims and others that have suffered as a result of this act, I share my sincerest condolences.

Day 2 of my commentary on resolutions. Don’t worry, this is my last day I will dedicate to this. As I had stated previously, I don’t believe in resolutions. If I want to change something about myself, I’m going to just go and do it. How many people actually follow through with their resolutions? The answer seems to be less than 50% of people who make these promises will upkeep them. The chances of you getting a divorce are higher than you keeping your resolution. Happy New Years!

This is where companies like gyms and Weight Watchers will make their money. Eventually, people forget they are paying money for a resolution that they are not keeping and they get to sit back and just collect on your broken promise to yourself. (Doesn’t that idea really make you feel guilty now?) The reason it doesn’t work is because it requires a lifestyle change, not a couple of weeks at a half-assed attempt to do something. If it really meant that much to you, you wouldn’t need to wait for New Years to do it just so that you can fit in. I hate following trends blindly just for the sake of following them.

For instance, the social media is aflutter with this pay it forward challenge. I won’t bite, even though I know it might make me look terrible. Why? Because you should pay it forward on a daily basis and not just do it because Facebook tells you to. In fact, it seems to have a lack of sincerity to me as does anyone who needs to broadcast their good deeds for the world to see. I’ve done volunteer work, I have donated to charities, does not mean I need to act self-righteous about it and blast my Facebook to rub how awesome I am in other people’s faces. I hate the idea of people using those in need for the sake of making them look like saints. (I am not talking about those who post about causes on their Facebook for awareness, I really mean those who say “I donated blood today, what have you done?”) I don’t need that sort of validation to know that I have made a difference, and I have taught my oldest child to be modest about his feats. It is my job as a mother to brag about his activities, not him. I teach my children that it’s not who is watching the deed that matters, but the people who are benefiting from it. They should be the focus. That’s why I like those anonymous donations that appear and pay off lay-away accounts for people who need the help. They don’t care if they get credit for doing something. They are doing it because it is the right thing to do, not because it makes people think highly of them.

You should resolve to be a better you, no matter the time of year and who’s watching. It’s not about resolutions; it’s about being a decent human being all year round.

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