On New Year’s Eve I attended an Interfaith event “World Peace Meditation,” in which a dozen or so different faiths were represented. The goal of the event was to focus on world peace and interfaith dialogue. It was very heartwarming to see the Jewish man and the Muslim man take hands and call each other friend with a genuine smile, as well as the Buddhist and the Sikh, the Catholic and the Hindu. Just such an air of love and tolerance that went beyond the scope of “Oh, ok, fine, believe whatever you want. I don’t care,” to a genuine feeling of “I accept you, I may not share the same beliefs, but I accept you and love you as a dear friend.”
This event got me thinking about world peace and New Year’s resolutions. most resolutions go like “I’m going to lose such-and-such weight,” or “I’m going to finally write that book” or “I’m going to scale Mount Everest blindfolded,” or whatever. And sometimes they work.
But more often than not, the resolution is not, in fact, resolved. And why is that? I think attacking the new year with high hopes is dangerous. A year is a long time. 365 days long, to be precise.
And another thing is, New Year’s Day is just a popularized marker, saying “Okay, it’s been a year since last time we said it was a new year.” The truth is that it’s like making a point on a circle and saying, “THIS is the real beginning of the new circle.”
The fact of the matter is that EVERY DAY is a new beginning of a new year.
So this got me thinking…what about New Day’s Resolutions? We wake up and tell ourselves, “Oh, gotta do laundry,” or “Gotta buy groceries,” “Gotta go to work.” So why don’t we use THIS motivation for change? Wake up and tell yourself what you want to achieve, and day by day you will eventually reach the end goal of what a New Year’s resolution may have been.
For me personally, I think we’d benefit the most from these New Day’s Resolutions by resolving to change the world. Cultivate peace, help your fellow earthlings out in some way or another, practice compassion, smile, recycle. If you have an anger problem, tell yourself every morning you’ll be kind and patient when faced with adversity. If you’re stressed, tell yourself you’ll be cool and collected.
Hey, it might just work.
For me, I’ll vow daily to remain mindful, to practice compassion and patience. Just to be a better human.
If more and more people began purposefully practicing compassion and mindfulness, especially out in the world around strangers, I think world peace isn’t too far out there of an idea. It might still be an idealistic goal, and I think that’s some people’s problems. They think, “We’ll never be able to have world peace.”
Sure, we might never have world peace, but if we try really, really hard, we might just have that much more peace in the world. If you try really, really hard at being the best athlete or the best writer, you probably won’t be able to get there in your lifetime, but you know what? Because of all that practice and trying, you’re that much better of an athlete, better of a writer. So why not? Let’s try to have the best peace possible.