Like a lot of people, I hate making New Year’s resolutions because they inevitably fall by the wayside after a week or so. On the other hand, I like the idea of finally getting around to doing those things I’ve been meaning to do for ages. So I decided to make New Year’s commitments instead. What’s the difference, you ask? It’s not over when I fail the first time.
When I started meditating, one of the first lessons I learned is that you have to start over constantly. You watch your breath for one or two rounds, and then you start to space out. Eventually, you realize you’re spacing out, and you bring yourself back to your breath. In other words, you start over. And over. And over. That’s how I think of my New Year’s commitments. I won’t get them right all the time. In fact, I probably will fail more often than I succeed. But I hope I’ll keep remembering and starting over again.
At any rate, here they are:
- Blog More. OK, so there’s not much to say about this, and so far I’m doing pretty well. I think it’s better to get my partially developed ideas out there now, than to not get my fully developed ideas out there in some imagined future.
- Exploit Less. I actually mean this in two different (but related) ways. I want to exploit fewer people and I want to use fewer resources.
Of course, there’s a very good reason this is a commitment and not a resolution. I don’t live in a society where it is possible for me to 100% avoid exploiting people. I live in a country that participates in or at least turns a blind eye to a lot of exploitation, and unless I plan to stop paying taxes and go to jail instead, I can’t avoid being complicit in it. Furthermore, as far as I can tell, nearly everything I use is made by people working in what I would consider unacceptable conditions, and it’s not always possible to find out how my stuff is made and be sure as possible that I’m buying an ethical alternative. So what am I going to do? Buy less stuff. Do everything I can to research the sources of the things I buy. Be prepared to spend a little more for stuff made by people working under fair conditions, even though that means having less because I don’t have a lot of money. Buy local whenever I can (though I don’t have any particular commitment to buying things made in the US).
What are your New Year’s Commitments?