In this time of new beginnings, false promises and blind optimism, the encoragement to change our ways is heavily bestowed upon us. Mark the start of a new year with unrealistic expectations of yourself. Why not? It’s free to do and nobody will be surprised when you can’t stick to it. In fact, people will actively encourage you to break resolutions. “Won’t you come for a drink?” They’ll say. “Argh, nay,” say you. “I’ve taken leave of my senses and opted to stay dry for a period of at least 31 days!”
“Oh, come on now,” they goad. “Just a little one?”
Depending on your strength of character, you delay and dither for somewhere between 1 and 5 minutes, before giving in to the inevitable tide of temptation and saying something akin to “I suppose if it’s just a little one, it wouldn’t hurt.”
It appears to me that there is not, nor has ever been a huge amount of credence given to new year’s resolutions. They are however traditional, and I’ll be jiggered if I’m going to suggest anything as wild as breaking the ceremonial tradition of the thing. As I understand it, tradition dictates you make a vow; then tradition dictates that you break it.
I suppose one might wonder as to the point of the exercise, but when it comes to tradition who needs a point? It’s just the ‘done’ thing.
Another ‘done’ thing I have noticed in my 300 years of gliding between worlds, is that we as a people will accept disappointing news as often as not with a smile. We would betray our animal instincts and grin back at the waitress as she tells us “there is going to be a 3 and a half hour wait for food, is that ok?” Quite astonishingly, my observations conclude that there is often a fundamental compromise of emotion in this instance, and we will reply nauseatingly politely and in the affirmative; agreeing that something completely unacceptable is just par for the course.
For a nation that is so quick to accept displeasure, I say we should stick to any and all traditions we hold dear; even if only so that a face value is met. It doesn’t matter. It’s a ‘done’ thing, so we do it. Isn’t that the point?