Thursday, December 27, 2018

Nearly New Year's Eve

(c) Lyn Fenwick drawing from 2015
There are still a few days until 2018 tumbles to a disquieting close, and the notion of New Year's Resolutions may seem like a relic from the past.  Or, maybe not.  Perhaps it is up to each of us to reflect on what resolutions we each might contribute to make 2019 less disquieting.

I am a collector of quotes--odds and ends from many sources, including this one I found on a cereal box, with which I will begin.  Unfortunately, the cereal box did not provide the author.  "Fame is fleeting, money evaporates, and all we have left is character."  New Year's Eve is a pretty good time for a character check.

Younger readers may not recognize the name of John Wooden, but those of us with some gray in our hair will remember this incredible coach and what was for a while his unbeatable University of California team!  This is what he called His Creed:  "Be true to yourself.  Make each day a masterpiece.  Help others.  Drink deeply from good books.  Make friendship a fine art.  Build a shelter against a rainy day."  You don't have to play basketball to find some good advice in Wooden's creed, and any or all of those commitments would make great resolutions.

Words attributed to Wm Shakespeare on the internet but probably a prank to see if people believed that attribution, nevertheless made their way onto my quote collection because they challenged me to consider how seriously I honor the things that I say matter to me.  I share this not to suggest you adopt the particular things mentioned but rather to challenge you, as it did me, to consider whether you truly honor by your actions the things you say you value.  "You say you love the rain, but you open your umbrella.  You say you love the sun, but you find a shady spot.  You say you love the wind, but you close your windows.  This is why I am afraid, you say you love me too." 

The advice of Ralph Waldo Emerson has inspired many generations, and I found this in my quote file:  "The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."   Some would say, I believe, that doing those things will bring you happiness.

Most of us will tolerate hard truths from Mark Twain because he's clever...or perhaps because we think he is poking fun at others rather than at us. This is one of my favorites:  "It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."

I will close with a movie quote taken from a conversation when a young man, discouraged by what he sees around him, turns to his uncle for advice.  The movie is Secondhand Lions and the actor speaking the quoted lines is the great Robert Duvall.  "Sometimes, the things that may or may not be true are the things that a man needs to believe in the most:  that people are basically good; that honor, courage, and virtue mean everything; that power and money, money and power, mean nothing; that good always triumphs over evil; and I want you to remember this, that love, true love, never dies.  You remember that, boy.  Doesn't matter if they are true or not.  A man should believe in those things because those are the things worth believing in."   

Selecting these quotes to share has given me hope for 2019, and I hope they have given you some ideas for your own New Year's Resolutions.  Admit it.  You know you probably will not stick to a diet or adhere to an exercise program for more than a few weeks.  And if you are a smoker, the odds are against really quitting because of a New Year's Resolution.  Maybe, however, something I shared might be worth the effort...  Have a safe and happy New Years Eve!

(You can click to enlarge the drawing.  Please pay particular attention to the words around the clock face.)


The Blog Fodder said...

I like the quote from Second Hand Lions the best. A great movie and a great actor. Happy New Year

Lynda Beck Fenwick said...

I love that monologue too. It really is better to believe some things that aren't true, as illogical as that seems, but as I age that becomes more and more difficult... the curse of maturity.