What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: Craig Jewell
The beginning of a new year finds many people setting “resolutions” in an attempt to start anew and improve some aspect(s) of their lives.
I believe this to be a healthy practice. Certainly we benefit from introspective analysis and renewed aspirations. This is the beauty of repentance and the gospel of Jesus Christ: the ability to change one’s ways and become a new person. It happens over and over again throughout the penitent person’s life, creating continual opportunities to improve.
The downside to such resolutions is the tendency to isolate them into infrequent experiences. Must we wait until January 1 of the following year to overhaul our lives and set goals for improvement? Does such a cyclical pattern help or hinder our progression?
I find a pattern in the Sunday worship of various faiths. Whereas in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints it is standard practice to gather weekly to commune with the Saints and renew our baptismal covenants, those of other faiths sometimes isolate their worship to Christ-centered holidays such as Easter and Christmas.
The problem here is the amplification of natural man’s desire to procrastinate. Creating one or two opportunities to change our lifestyle allow us to remain in our errant ways during the rest of the year, content with current practice and cognizant that we’ll set a new goal in a few months or so.
A new start is repeatedly afforded us, if only we take the time to analyze our behavior, ponder where we have room for improvement, and move forward with the help of Him for whom all things are possible.
A new start should not be reserved for yearly tradition, but instead incorporated into weekly life.