Monday, January 09, 2012

I am resolved

I'm not usually one to make New Year's resolutions.  Really, the most I generally strive to reach when a year begins is to try to write the correct year on all my checks.  (Yes, I still write checks, which may very well make me a relic in 2012.)  I tried actually writing some resolutions down back when I was a child, but they were mostly just habits that I was trying to break.  Such resolutions were generally forgotten by the middle of the month.

Since, thanks to my typically timely posting, it is almost the middle of the month already, there doesn't seem to be any point in writing down any resolutions such as, for example, "I will stop eating junk food every night," particularly since, thanks to our current financial situation, we've already chosen to allocate our money in places other than supporting the junk food industry.

However, I think that a new year is a good time to, perhaps, make a few goals for oneself.  (Really, any time is good for self-improvement, but a new year, like a birthday, gives most people I know a special opportunity for thoughts of how they can live better than they did in the previous year.)  And so I put forward these goals, which are not resolutions and therefore cannot be broken within two days.

  • I want to blog more.  (My track record over the fourth quarter of 2011 shows that improvement in this area probably shouldn't be too difficult.)
  • I want to spend more time offline.  (This may not seem to jibe with the previous goal, but there is a lot of time that I have spent online in which I was not blogging.  Those who know the real me on Facebook can attest to this.)  My kids want to spend time with their father now, and I owe it to them to give them that time.
  • I want to meet Sarah Palin.  (Sorry, I believe that entry belongs in my list of pipe dreams for 2012.)
But my main goal, which is going to receive enough exposition that I am not putting it behind a bullet point, is that I intend to read less comments this year.  Now, while all of my readers are well-reasoned, intelligent people (notwithstanding the amount of spam that gets filtered before reaching some of my older entries), there are some people who appear to do little more than spend their entire day, every day, posting comments on news articles.  And, unfortunately, many of these perpetual commenters are, shall we say, not the most well-informed of people.  And what appears to go hand-in-hand for some of these more ignorant commenters but which also can be found, sadly, even in the more savvy net presences, is a tendency toward rude, boorish behavior toward others with whom these serial commenters disagree.

As an example, simply view comments on any article on Hot Air discussing Sarah Palin.  (Did I mention that I want to meet her?  I did?  Good.  Moving on...)  Now, in this case, many of the people participating in the threads there are well-informed on the issues of the day.  But the rudeness of some people toward anyone who disagrees with them makes reading any comments on that site unpalatable at times.

While we're at it, I'll probably curtail my viewing of C-Span's "Washington Journal" for the same reason.  There are only so many times that I can hear ill-formulated opinions spewed from callers, and I think I'm nearing my limit, at least for the moment.  (This is also why I don't always listen to talk radio once the host starts taking calls, but at least then the host generally will challenge any incorrect statement from the callers, and so the annoyance factor is decreased there, at least a little.)

It's all part of trying to live by one of my favorite writings:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 
(Phillipians 4:8, from the New International Version, copyright 2011 Biblica, courtesy BibleGateway, used under Fair Use guidelines, at least while SOPA hasn't been passed.)

Too often, blog comments, loudmouthed callers, and others are anything but true, noble, etc.  For my spiritual health, I need to move my focus away from them, and put it back where it belongs.  Hopefully that will make for a much better 2012.