Tag Archives: resolutions

A Pyramid of Kindness

pyramidHello and welcome to 2015. As you are well aware, long ago I resolved never to make any New Year’s resolutions which is why I have once again this year, not resolved to write this blog more frequently. Hence the delay in getting back to you. Suffice to say, having recently escaped the bitter cold of my home town for unfortunately, a rather briefer than usual sojourn at the sea, my fingers have thawed sufficiently to begin again. And while what I want to tell you about might surprise you just a little bit, it solidifies my contention that being shallow doesn’t preclude being nice, or kind or really just about anything else “other” people profess to be. Except, perhaps, deep. I’m not sure one soul can be shallow and deep at the same time although I might have to do a little more thinking about that. In the meantime, here’s the thing.

I’m not sure how this all happened but sometime between Christmas and New Years I got myself involved in a Ponzi scheme, of sorts. I know! How, you ask, could someone with so much insight into the human condition find herself lock, stock and barrel in the midst of what anyone who knows anything, can only be a game of fools? Was it the result of too much turkey and merriment? Perhaps one too many rum balls? Could she have been blinded by all of those lights? Or did she just get caught up in the season of giving? Well, my friends, if I can be so bold as to call you that, it was none of those. Let me explain.

I’ll just take a moment here to refresh your memories. You’ll recall that not so long ago I extolled my appreciation for Facebook, a place where “everyone knows your name” even if they don’t really know you. To tell the truth, and that’s something I almost always do, I visit my Facebook page several times a day to see what my friends are doing, where they are travelling, who and what they like, what restaurant they are eating at, play or concert they are going to, who they might have just met and what they are doing with their new friends which, as I write this, is beginning to sound a tad creepy. But nonetheless, I do find out a lot stuff and once in a while, something that is even interesting. And so it was in Facebook, that one day, one of my friends posted this:

“This world needs as much kindness as it can get. I’m participating in this “Pay It Forward” initiative: The first five people who comment on this status with “I’m in” will receive a surprise from me at some point during the year–anything from a book, a ticket, something home-grown, homemade, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy. These five people must make the same offer on their Facebook status. Once my first five have commented “I’m in” I will forward this message to you privately, so that you can copy and paste it, and put it on your status, (don’t share it) so that we can form a web of connection of kindness. Let’s do more nice and loving things in 2015, without any reason other than to make each other. smile and show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable, friendly, and love filled year!”

Well, there’s nothing I like more than a challenge so I jumped high onto this bandwagon and before you could say “Jack Robinson”, I was saying “I’m in!” and there I was, copying and pasting this very same message on my wall or newsfeed or whatever it is Facebook has all of us doing now. It wasn’t long, although it was longer than I thought it should have been, that five of my very own friends also proclaimed their commitment to this act of kindness and that’s when it occurred to me. I had just found myself right smack dab in the middle of a pyramid scheme. A pyramid of kindness. A pyramid that’s been turned on it’s end. Because in this one, I’m at the bottom since I’ll receive one act of kindness for the five that I dish out myself. You know, I’ve always professed to “give” but now I’m going to give and give and give and give and give. I’ll let you know what happens.

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Enough already with the Lists

2013Yep, it’s that time of the year again.  It’s taken 366 days, some longer others shorter than we would have liked, but it’s finally here. In less than 24 hours we will be entering a new year, one that will bring with it new hope and new beginnings and, dimes to dollars, a whole whack of people making lists of resolutions that they are pretty sure they will keep even though I read on the internet that 47% won’t make it past the 2 month mark.

I suppose that instead of writing this blog that’s what I should be doing right now, figuring out what things I need to resolve over the next 12 months. But to a shallow person New Year’s resolutions are a lot like bucket lists which, as you well know, we have little inclination to create. But like my bucket list experience I had a hunch that a quick trip around the world wide web would provide me with some understanding of what other people are thinking about changing in their lives which is good for me to know because I’m always open to new possibilities.

And I was right. What I discovered on my little WWW whirlwind vaca was that not only are there a multitude of sites where you can publicly profess your commitment to changing your life but there are also many authorities on the subject who are apparently more than willing to share with you their tips and tricks for success because, as previously noted, success in this arena is somewhat elusive. Although I suspect that depends very much on the degree of challenge one sets for oneself. I mean, it’s one thing to pledge to “become proficient in the Japanese language” which I imagine could easily take more than one year, and quite another to find success when your goal is to “get my laundry done” which I am guessing most people will accomplish at some point over the next 365 days.

There are, of course, the “top ten” New Year’s resolutions which, as one may expect, include concrete, measurable goals like “lose weight” and “quit smoking” where a pass/fail is pretty apparent, along with things like “be a better person” and “enjoy life more” where success can be somewhat more open to interpretation. Seems to me that going with the latter gives you a leg up on the odds. As can be expected there are the unreasonable resolves like “fly to the moon” and the even more unattainable “marry Brad Pitt” which as of this writing seems to have eluded even the Mother of his many children. Perhaps my favourite of all was the person whose only list item was “better husband” which I thought was laugh out loud funny before realizing it was likely posted by someone who wanted to be one rather than someone who wanted to get one.

For those people who have “been there, done that” and are seeking new ideas for the coming year there’s a handy resolution generator that you can use to come up with some new, heretofore unthought of ideas. There you will have access to a wide range of suggestions from the ever so practical “bring a reusable bag to the grocery store” to something a little more lofty like “change the world”. If I were you I would employ some caution as you click through the options and give a pass to ideas like “start a pencil collection” which just seems silly and would certainly conflict with the ever popular “declutter”, not to mention “say hi to a stranger” which in many cities could get you into some trouble. If you’re lucky like I was you may even come across something you have already accomplished like “finding all of the people with your name on Facebook”. I’ll be the first to admit though that it wasn’t terribly difficult and probably shouldn’t be factored in to those completion stats.

But here’s the real problem I have with New Year’s resolutions. It seems to me that for the most part people are going to do whatever it is they are going to do, resolution or no resolution. I mean, think about it. That year that you gained 30 pounds did you actually set out to do it? On January 1 did you write down that you were going to “up my sugar intake, eat as many donuts as possible in one sitting, and avoid the gym at all costs?” Or when you picked up that nasty smoking habit was your number one resolution to “start slow but work up to a pack a day by mid-year?”  No, you just did it. List or no list you’re going to do what you’re going to do. So I”m just going to say it. Enough already with the lists!

This year like all others I will refrain from the ritual of making resolutions that I am unlikely to keep and just live in this world the best way that I can. And with any luck I’ll be here next year to do the same thing over again.

Happy New Year to all of my friends and family and thanks again for sticking with me on this thing I call my blog.

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