Saturday I posted my New Year’s resolution. Here it is:
I will measure my year by how much
joy I can bring into the world rather
than by how much I can get out of it.
I’m not big on resolutions.
They tend to be lists of things to do, or things to do better than I did before or things to stop doing. This makes them baseline negative. They are easy to make and easy to break. But breaking them comes with a price. It feels like failure. It brings disappointment and makes me believe I’m stuck.
What I really want to do is change, to improve myself and my situation. That’s the point.
But it’s more urgent than that. I NEED to change my situation. It’s been a challenging year. You know what that is code for.
I’d share the details. I don’t mind but it would include details from other people’s lives that could use some privacy. You don’t need details. Insert your own from a tough year . . . Yep, that will do.
Anyway, change is not an option or a good idea or a pleasant goal. This year, change is essential and I’m deadly serious about it.
So, why the cute clouds-and-bluebirds resolution? If I’m that serious, why not a gritty, hard-core, blood and guts, smash-mouth type of resolve?
Because joy is what I need. And joy is what the world needs more of.
Joy will give me more determination, more energy to spread, more clarity to fight the good fight. Joy will keep me relaxed and healthier. It will lower my blood pressure and take the steam out of my stress.
But I SHOULD Be Angry!
There are riots in the street, terrorists bombing marathons, planes going missing, all of which make me angry. I could be the Incredible Hulk and respond with anger but then I would only be increasing the problem.
All the Hulk leaves behind is the debris of destruction in the name of justice. But the Hulk doesn’t bring justice. Puny Hulk. Justice is much more complicated than destruction.
The philosophy that destruction is necessary for change is wrong. Destruction kills everything without regard. There is a lot of good to be kept. There is precious potential that should be protected.
We need a better type of change. Something more powerful and focused, a laser scalpel instead of a bomb. We need healing change, a bandage not a bullet.
The greatest change agent the world has ever known is a dream. It is magnetic and positive. It pulls people to it like a sunrise after a storm. It is rich and sumptuous in detail. It is grand and inspiring in scope.
Here’s how it works.
As a teenager I went on a camping trip with my cousins by motorcycle. Everything was fine until we went off-road. When I hit the winding trail through the woods my inexperience reared its head.
The trees seemed to magnetically pull me closer. The very trees I wanted to avoid seemed to jump into the path ahead and try to take me out. I ground to a stop inches away more than once. I was holding people up. It was dangerous, and worse for a teenager, embarrassing.
Then my cousin revealed the secret. You automatically go where you look. He told me to look at the trail, not the trees. Focusing on the danger kept pulling me off course. It was hard to do with limbs reaching out and grabbing for me but I finally managed it.
Look Where You Want To Go
That’s the reason for my resolution. It’s easy in the virtual world to focus on the problems. Fear sells newspapers and websites. The more disturbing and salacious the headline the more hits the article gets.
Greed makes us harbingers. In the competition of ideas the bad ones seem to win and it’s easy to let the reward of easy attention lead us to controversy and fear. But that results in focusing on the problems.
We Need To See Hope
Without joy, hope and positive truth, things begin to seem beyond our control. We feel helpless simply by our choices. We have learned helplessness where there is help.
Things are not beyond our control. We control where we focus. We control the dream.
If I dream of bringing joy then I have to focus on it. I have to have it to give it. Joy doesn’t come from taking. That’s merely fleeting, selfish happiness, a vapor compared to true joy.
I Dream Of Joy
So choose your dreams well and do not let them out of your sight. Let them fill your view and you will automatically head for them.
My wish for you is to have great visions of positive things. Then none of us will have as much to worry about.
This year resolve dreams.