It’s that time of year again. The time when a lot of us pledge to lose weight, drink less alcohol and more water, join a gym, learn to ride a horse or play the piano, eat healthier food, change jobs, change partners, leave the world a better place. Take a moment now to ponder what you’re planning to take into, or leave out of, 2018. What are your thoughts? What aspects of your life are you considering modifications to bring in an effective and lasting change?
Most of the new year’s resolutions that we attempt to bring in each January are big pledges, and I wonder if that is the issue itself. Perhaps they are too big, too many. Perhaps that means we are doomed to fail. In recent years, as I’ve grown older and hopefully a tad wiser, I have been asking myself why can’t we focus making these resolutions throughout the year. I ponder the heralding of a new year and what makes it so special. The new year can be considered a fresh start, but it doesn’t have to be the only time in our lives when we think about modifying our life, our choices. Even better, what if we choose ONLY ONE resolution.
I recently saw the movie Wonder with my twin boys. They read the book earlier this year at school, and had been asking me to take them to see it. I was hesitant, knowing that the sentiment behind the movie would make me cry. And I don’t mean a few tears trickling down my cheeks, either. I mean the full-on ugly cry. But I am their mum, and I had to rise to the occasion, so I took them. During the movie, I did cry, but I managed to contain the loudness of my sobs to a minimum. However, through my tears and sobs, I saw that this movie echoes succinctly with what I try to instil in my children: to choose to be kind. I was thrilled, vindicated almost, to see the movie’s hashtag is #choosekind. I have been teaching my three kids to choose kindness since they’ve been old enough to grasp the concept. I know it seems simplistic and it won’t be able to conquer all the wrongs around us, but if we can choose kindness in the face of harsh words, a fight, or a soccer ball kicked in the head, then I think the world would be all the better for it. In every aspect of our lives, if we only chose to be kind, there would be a lot less negative repercussions.
So, perhaps this is where we go wrong each year. We load ourselves up with too many options. We’re bound to fail. What if we choose kindness? That covers everything, I reckon. If you are kinder to yourself, you might lose ten kilograms, or you may even decide you are fine the way you are. If you choose to be kind to co-workers, you may be happier at work, or you may find the inner strength to move on, if your skills have outgrown the position. If you choose kindness instead of an inflammatory flipping of ‘the bird’ to the driver who belted an obscenity while whooshing past as you parked the car, don’t you think you might feel more proud of yourself. If you choose kindness to the person who continues to call you fat or stupid, maybe that person will get bored and desist. I don’t know for sure, but it is worth a try.
I don’t know about you, but I will attempt this ONE resolution for 2018.