“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” — Epictetus
If you want to make a change, start now instead of waiting for some arbitrary date on the calendar. Or at least that’s what I tell myself when new year’s resolution time rolls around. Then comes January 17 and March 22 and October 12 and I still haven’t gotten around to setting some modest goals let alone achieving them.
So, 2018 is one of the rare years I’ll actually write down some resolutions. I haven’t done this in several years, however, so I’ve accumulated so many goals that I’ll fill up several color-coded Excel spreadsheets and need to borrow an architect’s plotter printer for the Gantt chart. Hopefully, I can thin down my list before the clock strikes Midnight.
My job requires me to follow all the awful things happening in the world; after all, that’s what makes up the news cycle. War and death and poverty and injustice (okay, and a few cat videos) fill my computer screen from the moment I wake until I go to bed. By the fourth day of the work week, it’s easy to cycle between outrage and despair.
Many on all sides succumb to this emotional low road, which is why there’s so much anger about failed politicians, terrible policies, and broken promises. Our grandparents would yell at the newspaper, our parents at the TV, and now we vent on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube, amplifying the misery. In the past few years, we’ve seen mobs shutting down freeways and burning down neighborhoods while students at even the most exclusive universities screech about the raw deal they got in life.