Let me begin by offering you my heartfelt best wishes for a safe and Happy New Years. Is it not amazing how quickly time flies my friends? Not only are we on the doorstep of a new year, we are about to begin the second decade of the 21st Century. But was it not just a day or two ago when we were all hoarding food and toilet paper in anticipation of the 'Y2K Disaster'? Yet here we still are. My does time pass rapidly when we are having fun.
Like many of you, I toy with the idea of creating resolutions to guide me in my journey through the upcoming year. It seems like the right thing to do. You know what I mean. I am going to start exercising, lose weight, tithe to my church, and while I am at it find a cure for hunger and cancer. After more than six decades of celebrating the New Years' holiday, I am here to tell you that I have become a practicing pragmatist. I am truly to live my life in a solid productive manner, as guided by my personal limitations.
The chances are poor indeed that I will be the one who cures cancer. True, I am a researcher however words and not solid science are the province of my efforts. I could help the person who does make the breakthrough write about it, but they already have science writers to do that. This I realize and make no apologies for my limitations.
The same argument holds true for the issue of hunger in our world. I am not a crop researcher or agricultural scientist. I could write about it, but there are people far better qualified than I am to do that. I want you to know that I am doing my part in the hunger battle. Each time I become hungry, I get something to eat. I know what I am good at.
However, there is nothing to stop me from supporting these two efforts through the financial resources which I am able to generate. Donations to fight cancer and prevent hunger are two areas within my benevolence planning schedule. I also strongly support all of the efforts of my church in these critical areas. I might not be able to cure cancer and stop hunger, but I can support those who do. That, my friends, is a goal, not a resolution.
Years ago some wise sage told me to identify my strengths and weaknesses. That person told me to build upon my strengths and work to minimize my weaknesses. I want you to know that I took that person at there word and have battled mightily to do just that. There have been some successes and there have been some failures, but I am still trying.
Early on in my life I discovered that I was a real pro at gaining weight. A bit later in my life I discovered that my ability to lose weight was poor indeed. In line with the advice I received from that sage, I decided to go with my strength. Hence the incremental increase in my volumetric proportions over time. You might say that I am a victim of my own abilities.
Now if I were hung up on the matter of New Year's Resolutions, I would now be telling you that I hereby resolve to lose 75 pounds in the coming year. I would declare that I intend to spend an entire year with Jared and Michael Strahan eating at Subway and jogging endlessly through the environs of Adelphia and Freehold. If I were hung up on resolutions, I would resolve to run so many miles and lose so many pounds of weight. But I am not such a person.
The classical problem with resolutions is that they are so easily broken. We usually fail in keeping our resolutions because we set the bar too high and make these declarations in the form of absolutes. Let me suggest to you that there is another way to approach this matter. Rather than spitting out resolutions we have no intention of keeping, we need to spend some quality time developing goals for our lives. Let me also suggest that we not attach a timeline to these aspirations, at least not one which is wholly unrealistic.