In reality it’s arbitrary, but picking Jan. 1 as the day to make positive changes — resolutions, we like to call them — in our lives makes sense as it’s a day of revival and renewal, the dawn of a new year that washes away all of our previous indulgences.
On Wednesday, which delivers to us 2014, about 45 percent of Americans will resolve to make changes in their lives, with the list, from top to No. 10, loosely looking something like this: lose weight; getting organized; spend less, save more; enjoy life to the fullest; exercise more; learn something exciting; quit smoking; help others in their dreams; fall in love; and spend more time with family.
The other 55 percent won’t be bothered, perhaps disillusioned by the apparently futility of it all: The majority of those who make resolutions will have abandoned them by the time February arrives, and fewer than one in 10 will succeed in making a permanent and positive change in their life.
Despite the odds, we hope that all Robesonians will pick Wednesday — if not right now — to try to make a positive change because if each of us does a little, it will add up to a whole lot in making this county a better place to live. Our eyeball test would have us rearrange that top 10 list a little bit, moving up quitting smoking and exercising more because Robeson is perhaps the unhealthiest county in North Carolina, and our love of tobacco and food combined with a sedentary lifestyle is to blame.
We would also lengthen the list, at least for Robeson County, to a lucky 13.
We hope that all our young people will resolve to remain in school until they either have a skill or a degree that will win them a job and make them contributors to society — and not among the growing ranks of those who depend on the government for life’s essential, including food and housing.
We hope that young girls will resolve not to get pregnant until they are in a loving and stable relationship, one capable of providing nourishment and financial security to the newborn, giving that child the best opportunity at a good life.
We would hope that all of us who are prone to settle disputes through violence would pause first, and realize that one moment of insanity can lead to a lifetime of unnecessary suffering.
We offer these quite aware of our naivety, understanding that those who are in most need of these changes are also those least likely to read today’s Our View. But it’s the dawn of a New Year, so we, too, will resolve to try to do more to make Robeson County a better place for us all.