I take the Star Trek philosophy of life – the one that says being human is inherently a little bit shitty. It’s not the worst thing in the world at all, being a male Anglerfish is probably a lot worse since they… well lets not get into that – the point is that we, as a society, have brought pollution, war, poverty and Piers Morgan into existence. Most of us recognise these as bad things and rightly so, a lot of suffering has been caused by Piers Morgan as well as a lot more by war, poverty and pollution to name just a few dangers to the world.
But that’s what gives hope to the lifeless granite-stone I call my heart. That there are people who passionately care about these issues, people who are willing to stand up for what they believe – people who protest these abominations and people who punch Piers Morgan in the face. But that’s the part of Star Trek philosophy I like! I love the idea that we, as people and as a society, are able to better ourselves. We can use our scientific understanding of the universe to make peoples lives better, we’re able to use it to grow enough crops to feed the planet, to clean drinking water and to fly Piers Morgan to another country so I don’t have to be reminded every day that he exists.
And thus comes the New Year. After we’ve recovered from National Hangover day, we task ourselves with improvement. Either we want to lose weight, learn a language, tidy ourselves up – things that we feel make ourselves better. And then the inevitable disappointment ensues. One of the problems we have keeping our new years resolutions seems to be a lack of motivation. The purpose of the new year is “new beginnings” but we quickly lose sight of that when we realise that we’re much happier on the sofa with Friends and a packet of Minstrels than we are waking up early for exercise and tofu.
Maybe our motivation is wrong. I haven’t made New Years Resolutions since I was a teenager, partly because I don’t see the new year as a significant mark in my own life. I still celebrate the new year but that’s mostly because Talisker is gorgeous. I consider my birthday the point at which I think of myself as “new” in the year and that’s when I make resolutions to myself to be a better person and for the most part I feel I’ve been successful.
The dissapointment to me comes a few days after when everybody on Facebook collectively gives up.
I’ve often heard it said that the people who are most critical of us are ourselves. For some cock-sure people this obviously isn’t true, however for the majority of normal people who acknowledge their own flaws and shortcomings – motivate yourself! Jog on… and pass me my shot glass – I need another drink!