Monday, 1 January 2018

open you the west door and turn the old year go

As one prepares to seize new opportunities and resolves to be their own betters, a few happy observations—for what they’re worth—regarding resolutions and remaining steadfast. First the practical bit. Rather than the goal, which is to be sure an important thing to be able to articulate, one should focus on the systems and contingencies that will help formulate it.
For instance, should one pledge to take public transportation more often (a good thing to do for yourself and the planet, surely, and don’t be worried about setting too low of a bar, since this one conscience change in behaviour could cascade into running for public office), a little backwards planning and scheduling around bus and tram days to mitigate frustration will help one overcome the sense of inconvenience and sick to the plan better. Then comes the more challenging part, which I think is the key to enduring change. One importantly needs to stop taking oneself so seriously: it creates emphatic blind spots and one starts to miss a lot and makes it harder to cultivate letting go, which is arguably the most important skill to hone, year in and year out. These are fraught times with a lot of injustice, atrocious people and regressive thinking but we’ve survived worse and at no time in history has society enjoyed at least the potential for greater equality, prosperity and enlightenment. Don’t dwell on the negative but be willing to hold it for however long you feel is needed to understand on several levels and as the other (this is no obligation to study any old garbage—just be receptive to what’s driving others) before letting it move along, already defused of the power it had when it was barrelling down at you. Open you the East door and let the New Year in.