Monday, January 3, 2011

Resolved for irresolution

As 2011 burst onto the scene in a shower of Central Park fireworks at midnight, I started the new year with only one certainty: four miles lay between me and my goal of completing my first road race in I-don't-know-how-many years.  Five thousand of my new best friends showed up for the NY Road Runners Emerald Nuts 4-miler. I was one of the nuts.

I made it, which was the only sure accomplishment of the year so far.  Surely, there will be other tangibles ahead....right? Right???  RIGHT!!???

Once upon a time I might have made some new year's resolutions, but no more.  Churchill's famous quote about the pre-war European leadership as 'resolved to be irresolute' springs to mind.  So, put me down as resolved in favor of irresolution..  Maybe it's my ornery resistance to the artificiality of calendar-driven holiday traditions----for example, I'll be in hiding for the next one, Valentine's Day, as I try to do every year.  It goes deeper than that, though.

Collectively and individually, we are in murky waters, indeed.  If you ask me which of several business ideas I am working on that are likely to be rolling successfully by mid year, I'd just as soon flip a coin as give you more clarity than luck and chance can offer.  Of course BobOnARoll knows the value of hard work, persistence, planning,  assembling great teams, and so forth.  Maybe it's better to think of myself as resolute....for irresolution.  Resolved connotes resignation, does it not, even helplessness.  That won't do.

Where I do feel resolved, resigned, and helpless, though, is in the political arena, as the evildoers take charge on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.  Progressive values are in for a very rough ride these next 12-18 months.  Have not been as deeply worried about an election aftermath since Bush v Gore 10 years ago, and we all know how that one turned out.....   From the party of fiscal discipline and small-r republican virtues, the Republicans and the Tea Party subsets now dwell in a fictional world of their own creation.  Up is down, deficits are bad if they are democrat deficits, taxes are bad unless they are Reaganite 'revenue enhancements'.  The Democrats are only marginally better, having just blown an unprecedented opportunity for real leadership.  Makes one wonder whether we will get to a breaking point.

Here's a resolution, for you.  How about we each think of a half dozen people in our lives who might need our extra care and attention in the year ahead.  And do something about it.  I remember reading once that an effective cure for the jitters is to head to the bathroom and shave.....something about the simple, routine gesture that presses the reset button.  Let's try to make kind gestures the new norm for 2011.  It's the least we can do---perhaps the only thing we can do, for now.....

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