A Replacement for Resolutions


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It is 4 days and fifty-nine minutes into the year 2014, as I write these words. The time for reflecting is long over, and so is the time for making resolutions. But I am going to reflect and I am going to make resolutions because I do not want to make this New Year any stranger than it already is. Yes, it has been strange – and a strange disappointment at that. Let’s face it! Since the start of December 2013, we had all our mental resources employed in preparing a grand welcome for the New Year. And just as we stood facing the front door, complete with the banners, balloons and party horns, 2014 came in from the back door and quietly took a seat in the corner.


And just as we stood facing the front door, complete with the banners, balloons and party horns, 2014 came in from the back door and quietly took a seat in the corner.


But that was on a more abstract note. On a more concrete one, this year replaced the previous amid exceptionally cold weather, here in Pakistan. The air weighed down with couldn’tcareless-ness as people stayed at home, snuggled inside their quilts, wondering what the year that had kicked off in such hopelessness, would have in stock for them.

As for me, I was clear from the very start (of December, that is), that I won’t be making any resolutions this time. Not because I’m disappointed in myself. I actually find at the end of every year that I have managed to live up to at least three-fourths of my resolutions. (It is worth mentioning here, that the remaining one fourth consists of the same resolutions every year, that I have failed in living up to, every year.) So yes, not because I’m disappointed in myself, but because I have chosen to replace ‘resolutions’ with ‘purpose’. A purpose is something nobler in nature, easier to remember, easier to apply and a better embodiment of all the lessons you have learnt in the course of any period of time.


A purpose is something nobler in nature, easier to remember, easier to apply and a better embodiment of all the lessons you have learnt in the course of any period of time.


My purpose this year will be to incorporate this saying by Thomas Merton, in both thought and action: “Our job is to love people without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” I’m not a poet or a philosopher, least a messenger of love. However, this one-liner made remarkable sense as I realized how close we really are to a proverbially imaginary world – Utopia. All we have to do is stop looking for reasons to love others. And once we do, we’ll find there’s a reason to love everyone – that everyone deserves it, and that everyone is actually worthy. It rains revelations the moment you change your perception, does it not?

So join me as I take on this task that is easier said than done. For those of you whose nicety has been misinterpreted before and have suffered backfires often, consider taking one more risk. Someday, somewhere, someone will repay you. Go forth.

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