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Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’

Make It Easy On Yourself

New Year’s resolutions: they’re irresistible. We make them, break them, flout, revile, or ridicule them but they are as ubiquitous a ritual as champagne on New Year’s Eve. The calendar and the clock conspire to awaken in us the promise not only of longer days and warmer weather but also of redemption: “This year, I will…”happyny

In the interest of providing comfort, ease and peace of mind to our friends, I have, with the help of several compatriots, compiled a list of resolutions most of us will not fail to achieve. Herewith, in 2011,  we resolve to:

1. get some sleep
In a nod to the insominiacs, we do not specify how much sleep we resolve to get nor add the burden of expectation that we will sleep every day (which also includes the party-goers among us).

2. eat
Here we define “eat” as taking sustenance in any form.

3. drink
Same thing.

4. turn head to the right
Anyone who drives will want to turn the head in order to back out of a tight space or engage in parallel parking. Those who don’t may have occasion to cross the street or glance back to make sure they’re not being followed.

5. smile
This is a bit more challenging. After some debate, allowances will be made for grimaces, smirks, tight-lipped half-smiles, and foolish or vaguely threatening grins.

6. look out a window
Even cellblocks have them, although they can be difficult to reach.

7.  leave the house wearing clothing
Any clothing is permissible; we wanted to allow for those of us who may shuffle out the door in our pj’s to get the paper. Anything after that is a matter of common sense, of course.

8. ignore someone
It’s going to happen anyway; might as well make it a resolution.

9. complain
Ditto.

10. spend time on one or more social networking sites
This really is a no-brainer.

Feel free to share your can’t-miss resolutions…and have a great entry into 2011.
image: photofurl

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‘Tis a new year of diminished expectations which means technically, I don’t even need to make any resolutions for 2009. No one really expects me to keep them. In fact, no one seems to expect anything of me, or themselves or anyone else – except if your initials are BHO, in which case you are expected to save the world, save us from ourselves and stop smoking. No extra credit for those six-pack abs, buddy and sorry but last November is so last year.

In the spirit of setting the bar low enough for me to crawl under, I hereby resolve:

  • …to refrain from offering my opinion about whether Caroline Kennedy should serve as New York’s junior Senator even if asked. Not that I’d ever be asked because if I were, I’d only be reminded that as I live in New Jersey, my opinion is irrelevant .
  • …to consider long and hard any and all offers to work for the new administration.
  • …to stop resolving to give up sugar. Why should I? Sugar is a mood elevator and an anti-depressant and it certainly enhances the taste of anything chocolate.
  • …to stop obsessing over my dog, except have you seen my dog?
  • …to keep trying to solve the Middle East crisis – at least in my head, since no one’s asked me for my opinion.
  • …to find inner peace. I hold over this resolution from year to year. Obviously, I haven’t found it yet. Check back with me in June.

As my friend Dave suggested, have a Very New Year!

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The House Foreign Relations Committee voted yesterday to condemn the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey in 1915. The resolution, in particular the use of the word “genocide” infuriated the Turkish government, whose president strongly condemned the resolution and warned that Turkish support for US activities in Iraq could be seriously jeopardized. Turkey is already angry with the US for its perceived lack of support for Turkey’s incursions into Iraq to fight Kurdish rebels, a move which has been strongly condemned by a Kurdish lawmaker in the Iraqi Parliament.

Rather than condemn you to further reading about angry politicians in global hot-spots, I thought it would be interesting to consider resolutions like this most recent one. Today’s open question on Yahoo’s answer board was “Why does the US Congress Pass Resolutions Condeming Other Countries?” Bloggers noted that Congress had recently passed a resolution urging Japan to apologize for tricking South Korean women into sexual slavery during WWW II. One poster noted that the U.S. is loathe to condemn its own actions, which would seem to be borne out by a search for resolutions about slavery or the treatment of Native Americans. A resolution was passed in 2005 in the Senate apologizing for its failure to enact anti-lynching legislation (a rather roundabout way of approaching the subject of slavery and the government’s complicity). That same year, the Senate considered legislation introduced by Senator Sam Brownback (Republican of Kansas and a candidate for President in ’08) apologizing to Native Americans; the resolution was apparently never passed. There was, however, a Congressional resolution passed in 1993 apologizing for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893.

Actually, many governments around the world issue resolutions as a way to make symbolic gestures for particular political constituencies. It’s tougher than ever for the U.S. to make such gestures in a community that views us as morally suspect. Still, resolutions have their place, if for no other reason than to prevent history from being rewritten. Where it gets a little silly is when Congress starts making resolutions condemning private organizations or citizens whose views, whether we like them or not, represent exactly that – private views. Instead of the intemperate rush to condemn, I’d urge Congress to move on. There’s work to be done.

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