Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

I’ve decided to give up on New Year’s resolutions. I think at this stage, it’s time.

I’ve played the resolution game for years. Most of the easy resolutions end up not so easy. The harder resolutions end up overwhelming and relegated to the “I’ll think about that tomorrow” basket. The more consequential resolutions usually encompass areas where our ability to control outcomes is limited or non-existent.

Humans are an odd lot. At times, we have tribal instincts. At times, we are independent explorers. We seem to colonize with the like-minded. I guess it’s the safety in numbers thing. We find ways to validate ourselves, even when it would be more appropriate to go through a critical self-analysis.

Sometimes, stripping away the veneer of who we are is a helpful process for growth. Since we seem extraordinarily adept at judging others, maybe it’s a good time to look at ourselves.

Instead of routine resolutions for the New Year, we need to resolve to take a closer look at who we are and if we really like that person. After all, we’re a work in progress. Maybe we have the chance to adjust and improve the development process.

In the past few years, we’ve become more judgmental and rigid toward others. The boxes we put ourselves in are so limiting, yet we seem determined to put ourselves in certain boxes, then close up and use unbreakable tape to seal us in. By doing this, we don’t have to challenge ourselves or accept others.

It’s an easy, yet sad and lonely way to live in the world without challenging ourselves to understand the world. We decide what limited way is acceptable, then shun the rest. Our judgmental nature is also becoming meaner. We set ourselves up as virtuous and right. Therefore, that which is different from us is evil and wrong.

George W. Bush said something several months ago during a time of national tragedy that stuck with me. “Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.”

Perhaps if we reversed that tendency, occasionally, we might find a more equitable balance in dealing with each other. It’s hard to acknowledge our own worst behavior examples, but doing that might help us do better for ourselves and others. And the world might look a little more appealing if we gave others the benefit of the doubt and searched for their best intentions and elevated them rather than diminished them.

The new year offers us many choices. Parties, sequined dresses, champagne, resolutions, glitter and confetti, football games, new calendars and the lengthening days post-winter solstice, a new beginning, tax season, and winter sports are just a few from which to choose. We can do any/all of those as well as take ourselves in a new, different direction.

It doesn’t have to be a wholesale change, but perhaps a few incremental adjustments are in order. What better time to assess and review than ringing in the new year with a decision to judge lightly – or not at all?

Understand our own best intentions, while giving others the same courtesy. Happy New Year.

Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. The award-winning newspaper is owned by Sage Publishing Co. of Cody, Wyo. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise (