2017: Last Year's Anti-Resolutions Revised

Last year, I set my resolutions for the New Year as Anti-Resolutions.  Among those were my determination to avoid celebrity memoirs (of drug addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction and alcohol) as well as all self-help books, whether about dieting, exercise or spiritual growth-- and in keeping with this anti-resolution, I managed to age a full year, without the spiritual guidance of others.    

It was indeed a very long year.  It seemed endless.

A year in which I scupulously avoided televised news, which was, as ever, loud and uninformed.  I admit that I did not adhere to this resolution faithfully.  I peeked at the conventions (a speech here, a speech there) and the debates.  I was saddened, but not shocked, to find the Clinton-Trump debates to be issue-free, and, courtesy of our new President, occasionally vulgar.   Afterward, I gazed upon the spectacle of "fact-checking." (Apparently, journalists can't be counted on to challenge facts during debates-- we need separate "unbiased" organizations to do this.) 

My final anti-resolution of 2016 was to skip social media political discussions.  This is a strategy I recommend to everyone, especially our new President.  Facebook and Twitter are inferior vehicles for nuanced political debate.  We all have opinions.  We all feel strongly about them, too.  But broadcasting them daily, and stridently, does not strengthen our positions or make us better informed. The truth, for better or worse, is that minds are not easy to change.  Our friends, to our consternation, have minds of their own.

My new resolution for 2017 is to read as much history as I can.  Not politics, not sociology, not academic theory, but old-fashioned history.  I'm looking forward to learning more, knowing more, and gaining new perspectives-- without having others tell me what and how to think.  
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