I Do Hereby ResolveOpinion
The customary thing to do when a new year rolls around is to make resolutions. A resolution, as near as I can tell, is a promise to yourself to change something in your life that needs changing. People generally vow to lose weight, exercise more, be nicer to others, or stop eating a half-gallon of ice cream at a time, straight out of the box.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with improving ourselves, although I’ve never understood why people wait until January first to make changes that need to be made. If something’s wrong, the thing to do is go ahead and fix it as soon as possible, instead of waiting until a certain day on the calendar. But it’s the custom, so maybe I should go with the flow. My New Year’s Resolution for 2014 is to stop procrastinating. And I’ll get around to it. Sooner or later. Maybe.
Most New Year’s Resolutions last about a week, although if you’re really, honestly, truly dedicated to improving your life you might stretch it to ten days or so. This is not because people aren’t sincere in their desire for change. It’s because people are lazy. Also, most people go overboard, and make resolutions that are unrealistic, like being nice to the rude coworker they can’t stand, or eating nothing but celery sticks three days a week. I’m not even sure celery is edible.
What we should do, instead of setting unattainable goals for the new year, is to shoot for a target we can actually hit. We should promise to show up late for work more often, or eat only salad during months that have an x in them, or laugh at people when they trip and fall, or watch more television. Instead of resolving to work out three times a week, we should plan to drive past a gym whenever possible, as long as it’s not out of our way. If you set your mind to it and don’t give up, you can achieve mediocrity. I know. I’ve done it myself.
The main problem with New Year’s Resolutions, as I see it, is that people seldom promise to make the changes that would do them the most good. I’ve compiled a partial list of people and groups who should make changes during 2017.
Al Gore should resolve to give it a rest with the climate change shtick, already. You can only beat the same drum for so long before people get sick of hearing it. The world has enough problems that can actually be fixed, without irrelevant whiners thinking up new ones that couldn’t be fixed even it they really existed. Besides, if Al was all that concerned about the environment, he wouldn’t fly around the world, burning fossil fuels, trying to talk people out of burning fossil fuels. For some of us, mediocrity is just too far to reach.
Donald Trump should resolve to do something about that ghastly comb-over. He’s the president now, for goodness sake, or will be installed soon enough, so it’s not like there’s anything else he needs to accomplish. A bald spot is not such a bad thing, anyway. I’ve got a pretty good one going myself, and you don’t see me running around with what looks like roadkill on my pate. Hair is overrated, in my opinion.
Anti-hunters should resolve to do a modicum of research, and learn where the money comes from that pays for wildlife programs and game law enforcement. Half an hour on Al Gore’s internet would tell them it comes from hunters, through hunting license sales and federal hunting stamps and the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937. They might finally figure out that anti-hunters are wildlife’s worst enemies. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants?
The gun control crowd should resolve to get a clue. Here’s one: gun control gets people killed. Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country, which keeps people from being able to defend themselves from criminals. There were 762 homicides in Chicago during 2016, which is more than there were in New York and Los Angeles combined.
Millennials should resolve to quit thinking the world owes them something, just because they want it. The only job where you can start at the top is ditch digging. I didn’t become a world famous humor columnist overnight. Or at all, really, but that’s not the point. Work is not a bad word, and no one ever died from having dirty hands. Get over yourselves.
Environmentalists should resolve to quit crying great big crocodile tears over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It’s nothing but a mosquito-filled swamp in the summer and a frozen wasteland in the winter. A little oil drilling won’t aggravate the caribou one whit, anyway. Either lighten up, or start paying for my gas, you cry babies.
Honestly, I don’t plan to hold my breath until these people wise up, but you never know. 2017 is a new year with new possibilities, opportunities, and expectations. There’s no telling what might happen.
Personally, I plan to drive by the gym more this year—on my way to Whataburger.
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who never consumes more calories than he can eat in a day. Write to him at [email protected].