Another year is on the turn and the papers are full of advice on resolutions. What to make and how to keep them.
But rather like cheap toys and teenage hearts, New Year resolutions are made to be broken.
So, this year, I’m not bothering with my regular resolve to drink less wine, eat less chocolate and take up jogging.
I know that instead of feeling smug at my achievements – another 5k done! Go me! – I’ll just feel shame at my inadequacy. An emotion which usually hits as I sit with a glass in one hand and a giant Toblerone in another.
Instead, I’m resolving to do something which is a bit less quantifiable. I’m going to be kinder.
Now, I know this sounds soppy but think about it. Couldn’t we all do with a bit more kindness in our lives – especially in a world where it sometimes feels in chronically short supply?
Better still I have made a list of targets for my kindness to keep me on track:
- Anyone who voted for Brexit. I’ve rolled my eyes at you for too long and it’s gotten us nowhere. I can’t agree with you but I will try harder to understand. It might be our only way out of this mess
- The people who run the Mersey tunnels. So many queues, apparently so few toll booths open. I’ll try harder to relax and enjoy the radio rather than shouting random profanities as the start time for my morning meeting slips by
- Rough sleepers. Sometimes I give cash, sometimes I don’t. But I’ll now try to always give time. A few kind words costs nothing
- Shoppers in Tesco who go to the self-service tills with overflowing baskets and take an age. I will tut no more
- People who are strangers to correct grammar on social media. I will not judge. Ok, I will but not as much
Me. And you. Let’s all be kinder to ourselves. Buy the dress, eat the chocolate, binge on the box-set. Not every day, of course, but just enough to keep us sane in this mad world.
Because kindness, like charity, begins at home.
Have a happy New Year.
First published in the Liverpool Echo, 29 December 2018.