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What We are and What We Should be…Two Weeks into the New Year

At the end of each year, people go through making resolutions for the new year. They would like to get more fit, quit smoking, travel, or do a myriad of other things that they think would make them 'better'.

The idea of making resolutions for the New Year comes from ancient times where the Babylonians and Roman to the Vikings made promises to their gods to be better in the upcoming year. Now, millions of people the world over follow this custom in the hopes that promising to change their habits will aid them in their happiness and /or success.

As a slightly lazy person who neither cares a lot about being in shape (gasp, I know!) nor is ambitious enough anymore to actually plan for (more) success, I made zero resolutions. In fact, I slept early that day after spending some quality time with my kids.

When I woke up in the new year, it got me thinking … is it relevant and better to celebrate what is essentially an unchecked passage of time unaffected by anything we do? After all, the only two certain things in this world are the passing of time and the arrival of death upon all of us one day…

For some this is a morbid thought, but if you think about it, it is completely freeing. For in this certainty lies the truth of what we are and what we should be. We are put on this Earth for a short time - for a higher purpose if the majority of religions is to be believed - and we will die after. What comes after death is unknown so our time on Earth should be meaningful to us, to our beliefs and to those around us.

Keeping this in mind, there are only two resolutions that ever come to mind - not as singular year promises to ourselves but as eternal pledges that should define our existence.

  1. Be kind.

  2. Be happy.

The second is obvious and rather trite since each human's entire existence really does sum up to their quest for happiness - be it by searching for money, success, love or whatever defines happiness for them.

But without the first one, the second is rather meaningless. Without kindness, happiness is hollow for I have never known a cruel person to be truly happy. Nor have I ever felt greater happiness than being kind to others and making them happy.

So, as we move into the new year, and reflect on being our best, happiest selfs, maybe all we need to do is start being kinder to each other.

“Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.” ~Rumi

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