Tag Archive for resolution

Be Aware

Christians sing “Here I Am, Lord.” Jews call to mind the example set by the Levites who were called to serve God. Muslims know that the word “Islam” means “submission,” serving the will of Allah. All people, even atheists, have that feeling deep within them that, whether a higher power is involved or not, we have an obligation as part of the human race to watch out for each other. Of course, Believers know that God isn’t going to text us with instructions. But how often do we look around to see if, just maybe, opportunities are presenting themselves around us?

There’s that out-of-work man you keep running into, and an opening where you work.  There’s the ill neighbor, and you do go to the grocery store weekly anyway.  There’s the lonely stranger in the room you pass on your way to visit your dad at the nursing home, and you really do have an extra fifteen minutes.  The City Council is about to pass a harmful resolution, and you have the ability to speak convincingly. 

Just look around. Be aware of chances to serve–if not God then your fellow travelers on this Earth.

New Year’s Day–a Movable Feast

Today I offer you some slightly slanted observations about the event we call “New Years Day.”

No, New Year’s Day wasn’t invented by a bunch of teenagers looking to party, a football league, or even Hallmark. It goes back to 2000 BC, to ancient Babylon. They celebrated Spring, a time of rebirth, by starting a new year at the first New Moon after the Vernal Equinox. And they celebrated big, for eleven days.  The Romans continued the practice but ran into a problem: the emperors kept changing the calendar, which moved New Year’s around until it was far off from its original timing.  Mainly, they observed it on March 15, although at one point Dionysius Exiguus changed it to March 25 to honor the Annunciation of Jesus. The Roman senate declared it Jan. 1, but, being politicians, it was as solid as modern day campaign promises. Finally, in 46 BC when Julius Caesar established the Julian calendar, he kept the current year going for 445 days in order to fit the new calendar with the sun’s cycle, just so he could establish New Year’s on Jan. 1.  (Could this have been his way to “beware the ides of March”?)

Enter the Catholic Church.  Apparently, people were having too much unauthorized fun.  They tried to put an end to the pagan frivolities and, after awhile, replaced them with religious observances, moving New Year’s around to coincide with various feast days. That’s how it came to be a holy day to anyone using the Julian calendar, including some Eastern Orthodox churches.

Baby New Year began in Greece about 6000 BC. It grew out of the Greeks’ celebration of Dionysus, god of wine, symbolized by a baby in a basket which was carried about the streets to represent fertility. Early Christians liked the idea of a babe embodying the spirit of rebirth, because the baby Jesus brought the supreme rebirth. Ultimately, the Church, despite her continued denunciation of New Year’s festivities as pagan, allowed a celebration including a baby, so long as it clearly represented Baby Jesus. The Germans, who had used the baby symbol since the 14th century, eventually brought this idea with them to America.

New Year’s, then, is historically a time of new beginnings. Whether we plant crops, as in ancient days, or make resolutions, which we’ll break within a month, we can enter into its true spirit. We can put behind us last year’s unthinking and unthinkable actions and carry with us the fruit of our kind and generous ones. Instead of resolving to make this a more peaceful world, we can roll up our sleeves and just do it.

Mmmmmm.  Maybe that’s a New Year’s Resolution, after all.


About Resolutions

[Something to bolster your New Year’s resolutions: ]

“The single largest pool of untapped resource in this world is human good intentions that never translate into action.”

— Cindy Gallop

[Especially good intentions like being kinder and more tolerant with each other and helping people make better lives for     themselves.]

A Simple New Year’s Resolution

Today’s Thursday Thought quote heads us in the right direction for 2017.

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.” — Goran Persson

Last-Minute Resolution to Consider

This is the last day to make our New Year’s resolutions.  May as well forget the traditional weight-loss one, since we fail before February anyway.  We could resolve to quit smoking or swearing, be more organized or thrifty…. Then, again, we could step out from our own little world into the larger one.  We can make this the year to help protect and nurture a child.  Yes, we can send money to support a child on another continent, but why not make it more personal?  One way is to volunteer at a local hospital as a person who cuddles at-risk infants, giving them the warm contact that will save their lives.  Another is to become a Foster Grandparent, Big Brother/Sister, or Child Advocate.  Also, we must do something when we see that timid first-grader being bullied by other kids.  Closer to home, we can spend more time with our own children or grandchildren, playing games, taking walks, and providing times for talk to happen. Focusing on children is a resolution that makes a brighter year for everybody.

Happy New Year.  May 2015 be a year of peace in the world and in your lives!



Resolutions into Actions

[Something to bolster your New Year’s resolutions: ]

“The single largest pool of untapped resource in this world is human good intentions that never translate into action.”  — Cindy Gallop

[Especially good intentions like being kinder and more tolerant with each other and helping people make better lives for themselves.]