“I am not the product of my circumstances. I am the product of my decisions.” Stephen Covey
“Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.” His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
And so it begins. The annual challenge to decide if I am going to make a new year resolution to be a better me. A resolution that I am not embarrassed to share when that inevitable question comes tomorrow. A resolution that will not have enough power to derail the entire day when I realize it has long since been abandoned. Strong, not trivial. Worth the energy but not impossible to achieve. Mine, not yours.
I‘ve made the most common resolutions (weight and exercise) in the past. My health has certainly become more significantly important to me since the car crash this fall. Yet, this kind of resolution is not a goal that gives my life purpose or meaning. Perhaps it is the mid-life crisis moment that makes me more pensive this year. I wandered into dictionary.com out of my love of words.
I had no idea there were so many ways to understand this simple word, “resolution.” It can mean simply, “decision.” As in Stephen Covey’s idea that we all have free will through which to determine our being. It has meanings in chemistry, computing, medicine and even music:
“the process in harmony whereby a dissonant note or chord is followed by a consonant one.”
Dissonance is considered active and forward moving. “An unstable tone combination is a dissonance; its tension demands an onward motion to a stable chord. Thus dissonant chords are ‘active’; traditionally they have been considered harsh and have expressed pain, grief, and conflict.” —Roger Kamien (2008), p.41[here]
In other words it seeks resolution.
Music that lasts through the generations seems to have been discovered more than invented. As if Bach or Elvis or Michael Jackson embody that which is beyond time and space. It is as if the best musicians did not write or perform music to be better musicians but to be themselves.
I think I’ll sing in 2014, and maybe even dance.
I choose to seek resolution.
I decide to be myself.
Be it resolved.