Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixaby
It’s hard to believe that I last posted this back in 2017 because, clearly, the last five years have shown little improvement. We still have issues… big issues. Here it is again with a few updates… I hope it works this time.
I gave up writing New Year’s resolutions for myself years ago. As a kid, it was kind of fun to put together a list every year but, as I got older, I came to realize that they never amounted to much. In the end, and despite my good intentions, there were few pounds lost and no better habits gained. Yep, I was pretty much the same old me after a month or two into the new year.
So, rather than come up with resolutions just for myself, I have decided to make one big resolution for EVERYONE to share. I figure that, with us all working together, supporting each other, and gently nudging those that falter back on track, maybe, just maybe, we can succeed.
My resolution for the masses:
Don’t be Stupid
The best thing about this resolution for you is, like me, you aren’t stupid at all, so your part will be easy. Just make sure that everyone else doesn’t mess up.
Here is a list of 10 ways your fellow humans can avoid being stupid. It’s far from complete.
- Don’t text or talk on the phone while driving. Competent multi-tasking is a myth. Even if it wasn’t, the task of piloting a vehicle that weighs over 3,000 pounds requires complete attention. This level of stupid could end up killing someone.
- Same goes for drinking and driving.
- Don’t believe everything you read, hear, or see on the Internet – check things out (and not only with your favorite confirmation bias source). Develop a healthy skepticism. Believing that a microchip would be inserted into our bodies while receiving a vaccination was stupid. In fact, anti-science conspiracy theories floating around in the midst of a pandemic are not only stupid, but they are also dangerous and, in many cases, deadly. Reposting questionable stories (even with the caveat “this could be a hoax, but I’m posting it just in case”) makes the poster’s stupidity evident to all 1,000 of their closest friends. Snopes.com and Factcheck.com are your friends. So are critical thinking skills.
- Don’t equate the accumulation of things with the building of happiness. We all like a certain amount of stuff, but chances are the good feeling we get from acquiring something new will not last. Think about acquiring experiences and accumulating memories instead. Travel, spend time with family and friends, learn a new skill.
- Don’t over-inflate. I’m not talking about weight here (although, it could be argued that not properly nourishing and caring for the only body we have is kind of stupid); I mean the tendency to take a small incident and inflate it into something much greater. The outrage du jour on cable news (remember when Starbucks issued – gasp! – all-red holiday cups?) and many Facebook rants come to mind, but faux outrages are everywhere if you look for them. Don’t look for them. Over-inflating creates cultural distortion and promotes misinformation.
- Don’t miss out on glorious vistas or the witnessing of actual events because it seemed more important to take and post selfies. The magnificence of the Grand Canyon isn’t improved with duck-lipped faces in front of it.
- Don’t compare yourself physically to models, celebrities and “internet influencers”. Chances are that they don’t even really look like that. Photoshop and good lighting can do wonders. In fact, don’t compare yourself at all; no one’s life is perfect. Find things about yours to be grateful for.
- Don’t dig your own grave. You’ll get there soon enough as it is. Stop maintaining habits that are self-destructive, staying in relationships that are toxic, and dwelling on negative thoughts. If you like digging around in the dirt, better to plant a garden.
- Don’t ever pass up an opportunity to pay a sincere compliment or tell someone that you love them.
- Don’t forget to live your best life. Always. It’s the only one you’ll get.
Have a wonderful, safe New Year’s celebration! And, please, watch out for stupid people (especially those mentioned in #1 and #2).
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