How many New Year’s Eves have you celebrated throughout your lifetime? How many resolutions have you made and actually achieved?
If you’re anything like me, the answer to that question would be absolutely none — not one resolution. But don’t worry, we’re not alone.
Three in four people will not succeed in achieving their New Year’s resolutions, according to Steve Shapiro, renowned philosopher and author. Whether it’s losing weight, scoring that dream job, putting a ring on it, passing calculus, or shedding credit card debt, apparently, we suck at it.
While worrying about things that needed to be done, the movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, began to play. I finally realized what Shapiro stated was not only true but also inevitable.
Resolutions made each year surround one person — ourselves. We all want to be skinny, rich and happily married with kids. We all want it all, and sadly, I include myself in this generalization.
Why? Because society tells us we deserve it and life ought to be fair. We all need to be successful.
The words “need” and “success” have become something that no longer symbolizes humility or loved ones. They no longer pertain to someone such as George Bailey.
They represent an amount of money in the bank, degrees on the wall or a role in a reality television show. People who tarnish the world are paid millions more in comparison to those vital to everyday life.
Society frowns upon those with less in their wallets and more in their hearts. The world has become so self-righteous that a drunk driver who caused a deadly car crash and is suffering from a minor head injury can post photos on Facebook with a caption that reads: ‘Don’t drink and drive, you’ll go bald’.
On the same page, I came across a Facebook profile of a pregnant 16-year-old girl gushing about her current situation. She compared herself to the MTV show Teen Mom and exclaimed that she had always wanted to have a child because it meant that someone would always be there for her and girls would idolize her.
Later that week, I witnessed a 21-year-old man complain about the inconvenience of his opportunity to attend and afford college.
Is this what the world has come to? A world where people shouldn’t drink and drive because we all will go bald, where teen pregnancy is honorable, and where college is an inconvenience? Where did all of the George Baileys of the world go?
Originally, I had the intention of inspiring readers to finally start checking off their New Year’s resolutions beginning with the year 2012.
Instead, I have something else in mind. I propose a quick change in resolution to help others, a loved one, a stranger or an admired institution.
For inspiration, think of George Bailey or of someone in your community who has sacrificed his or her own dreams to help others achieve theirs.
For me, my parents come to mind.
In a marriage of 25 years, they worked hard to give to those even when they weren’t able. They have strived to teach and love their children for the past 22 years without asking for anything in return.
My parents have given up dreams and aspirations without a second thought because they love and care about the world surrounding them. So, why can’t the rest of the world?
Although the New Year celebration has come and gone, I’ve decided to follow the path of George Bailey and my parents in creating a new New Year’s resolution: to become more selfless, open minded and willing to experience new things beginning with the 10th Annual Good Works Walk for the Homeless Jan. 14.
Why not join me?
Why can’t we all join together and discredit whatever crap Shapiro says about New Year’s and create a place that the George Baileys of the world would be proud of?
Lindsay Friedman is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. Take a pledge to be selfless with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.