Sunday, January 02, 2011

Resolved: that...

One of the activities in which I participated when I was a college student was collegiate debate. Our small college had a relatively decent debate team, and--unlike sports--we competed against far bigger colleges. We had lots of exposure to other campuses as well as we traveled for intercollegiate competition.

There was a movie a couple of years ago that did a fairly accurate job portraying collegiate debate:
The Great Debaters. The movie had other points that it was making, and debating was only a vehicle for those themes. But, still, it helped show how debating can work.

Every year, all the colleges would focus on a single resolved. The first year I debated the resolved was:

RESOLVED: That the non-communist nations of the world should establish an economic community.

The next year it was:

RESOLVED: That the federal government should guarantee an opportunity for higher education to all qualified high school graduates.

It is interesting to me to note that, in part, the first topic has been realized with the European Union.

I debated on the affirmative side of the issue. That meant that I and my partner had to do the research to PROVE the resolution. The negative team also had to do research, but could also focus on pulling the affirmative team off topic. I don't think my partner and I won many debates, but the experience was memorable and enjoyable.

So, why this reverie on debating. Because the word RESOLVED leads me to think of resolutions. Resolutions are sort of personal RESOLVEDS that you take the affirmative on and try to prove.

Every year, many people engage in their own little debate--whether or not to make New Year's resolutions. I say--do it! RESOLVED: that making resolutions at New Year's is a good thing to do.

A quick word about resolveds. They should always be worded in the positive. So, you would not say RESOLVED: making resolutions at New Year's is not worthwhile.

But, I digress.

Here's why I like resolutions.

1. They give you a goal to focus on for the new year.
2. They help you affirm the possibility of possibilities.
3. They give you the opportunity to leave behind what was less than perfect in the year gone by.

I make modest resolutions.

I resolve to
--take part in a book club
--clean out my closets before they overflow
--have lunch with friends more frequently
--take longer walks.

I never make too many resolutions. Too hard to keep track of! And, one thing I never do. At the close of the year, I do not beat myself up for any resolutions unmet. I stay on the affirmative, and eliminate the negative.

So, are you on the affirmative on this question? Or the negative?


Anvilcloud said...

It's a good time for changes although, being a teacher, I always found September to be the real beginning of the year. While I don't exactly resolve to do this and that, there are certain things that I want to improve upon.

Ruth said...

I agree that it is always good to have goals. But I need to focus on them more than once a year.

Jayne said...

I like feeling like I have a clean slate. Too many people don't make them as there is somehow and expectation that they won't meet them. I'm with you... reach for it baby! Even if you are still reaching on Dec 31st, you're reaching!

Anonymous said...

I don't know of a book club nearby, so let me know what you're reading. :)

Mauigirl said...

I personally like to make resolutions but have to admit I don't always achieve my goals. I like yours, they are very reachable. I highly recommend the book club - have gained several good friends from the one I belong to; because the books lead us into discussions on personal issues and thoughts and we get into some great conversations.