New Year Resolutions …

It happens to all of us I guess, while spring cleaning I came across an old article on mine that was written nearly 20 years ago as a teenager. And it was a hand-written copy since I missed curating the original printed in a local English newspaper.

So its kind of fun to just type it up and create a digital record of the same. And also to wonder regarding whether the road to Hell is paved with good intentions or not?

I was angry and had a reason to be so too. I had just earnestly started to elaborate on my New Year resolutions when my friend doubled up with laughter.

” What’s so funny?”

He wouldn’t reply, he was far too busy laughing. Well I know the reason anyways. It’s always been the case that my list of New Year resolutions is met with a mirthful cynicism and I am supposed to be as credulous as the eight-year-old kid who believes that the Moon is made of green cheese. I find this to be very sad.

My friend had by now composed himself. He said, ” Well remember your last year resolutions – getting up early in the morning, studying hard, replying to letters immediately etc. You made such a big fuss about it, And finally what happened? After the initial euphoria, which reminded me of the bloom of a false growth of a plant, you were back to square one. You make resolutions only to break them so why should I take your ideas seriously?”

His words ripped though my heart like a lash. I do well remember what I had resolved last new year eve and how much I had put into practice. And I admit the result was dismal for never be it felt that I am in the habit of being economical with the truth. And yet wasn’t there hope yet.  I mentioned to my friend about what Somerset Maugham had said regarding Hope i.e.” How the Gods must have chuckled when they added ‘Hope’ to the evils with which they filled the Pandora’s box, for they knew very well that this was the cruelest of evil of them all, since it is Hope that lures mankind to endure its misery to the end”. A rather dark view of life and somehow I can never see an eye to eye with him on that count. Indeed I feel that hope is the key to life. What is indeed a more magnificent sight than a Phoenix resurrecting itself from its ashes or a man progressing towards being an ideal to himself”.

My friend retorted, ” Oh, I know it is a common past time this season of the year and fools waste their time and energy in making resolutions which they can never keep. Remember they say, ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions’.

I protested against this uncalled outburst of pessimism and expounded on Robert Lynd’s stand on the quote. Lynd says, ” Such an attitude makes life extremely difficult for the well-meaning and it robs many of us of the very last of our store of virtue. Good resolutions are too a delightful a form of morality to be allowed to disappear from a world in which so much of morality is dismal.”

My friend opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something but then clamped up. That meant only one thing. The battle was over – game, set and match to yours truly.

And so I sympathize with all those who have resolved to get up at six every morning, with students who plan to turn a new leaf and study to emerge with flying colors in their exams, with writers who plan to write even better and especially with those who plan to start exercising and answering letters promptly for I am one among you on that.

And I salute you all even though may be after an introductory period you may return to your old ways and vices. I do so for it is the resolution that is worthy of appreciation. It is symbolic of the esteem of mankind, of man’s optimistic search for self-improvement.

Well now as the New Year approaches I appeal to you all to rise to the occasion and make as many resolutions as you care too. You ought to ignore all the mischief makers who try to put the seed of doubt in your mind for – and again I quote Lynd –  ‘perhaps there’s some instinct for perfection in us which thus makes us deny our past and stride off into the future forgetful of our chains’. I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year and may your resolutions meet with success.

Credit: PeskyMonkey Courtesy: Getty Images
Credit: PeskyMonkey
Courtesy: Getty Images

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