I’m not sure what it is in the human psyche that impels us to see the New Year as a new start–and to make resolutions to behave in certain ways, to turn over new leaves, to focus–yet again!–on self-improvement. But whatever the reason, most of us do take this opportunity to do some navel-gazing, followed by some promises to ourselves.
In that time-honored tradition, here are my “good intentions” for the New Year.
1) I resolve to be more environmentally conscious. Maybe one person can’t make much of a dent in the waste that’s choking our landfills, or the energy use that contributes to global warming, but an ethical approach to the planet we share has to start with each of us.
2) I resolve to be a good capitalist–by which I mean navigating the wealth of choices that a market economy produces in order to patronize establishments that deserve my business. In a free country, Chik-fil-a has the right to support anti-gay causes, and I have the right to eat elsewhere. I can choose not to deposit my money in the banks that played fast and loose with our economic system and to take my (admittedly insignificant) funds to a local bank instead. In our wired world, it is relatively simple to assess the ethics of the large corporations competing for our dollars, and to spend our dollars in ways that reward good behavior. Capitalism lets me put my money where my mouth is.
3) I resolve to continue working through the political system to support good candidates for office–defined as people who understand our constitutional system and are prepared to work within it, who support evidence-based policymaking, and who are both intelligent and thoughtful. Granted, such candidates have become rare, so in a pinch, I’ll support the people who are pandering to the people who are least scary. Bottom line–just because our politics have become toxic and our politicians venal and/or ignorant will not be an excuse to turn my back on the process.
Will any of this make the world a better place? Probably not. But I’ll feel better.
Oh–and I resolve to lose weight. Again.