If memory serves, the last time I made a New Years resolution, it lasted about two days. For me, that was a personal record since most of the resolutions I made in years past lasted about two hours.
Ok, ok, it was only two minutes.
However, it's not a bad idea to take a few minutes and come up with ways to make the new year a little bit better for ourselves and those we love. It allows us to recognize our own failings and gives us an incentive to resolve the things that tend to drag us down.
Whether it's giving up a bad habit, losing weight or looking at ways to improve our financial status, the new year gives us a chance to make a fresh start. The trick is finding ways to stay focused on those resolutions and make lasting, positive changes.
At the same time, New Years' resolutions don't need to be restricted to our personal lives. I believe they should extend on a larger scale across our nation as well as countries around the world in hopes that maybe mankind could start the new year with a commitment to make our world a better place for all of humanity.
With that in mind, I have a few resolutions I'd like to recommend to our elected officials as well as the leaders of the different nations and powers around the world.
As the largest free nation on Earth, let's resolve as Americans to extend an outreached hand of compassion and hope to those whose counties have been torn apart by war. In those instances where the men and women of our nation's military are called to engage hostile forces, let's ensure they have the manpower, equipment and support needed to ensure they successfully complete their missions and all return home to their families safely.
And before we engage in any future conflicts, let's make a resolution to ensure we have a plan in place to guarantee victory and remain committed to that goal instead of leaving things unresolved and in complete chaos.
Let's resolve to ensure that those driven by ideologies of hatred and religious intolerance have no safe haven from which to operate anywhere on Earth. May they truly understand the error of their ways and the depths of their misdeeds but be given the chance to find redemption in the eyes of humanity.
For the members of Congress who write the laws of this nation, let's resolve to end all the pointless bickering and finger pointing and to find a common ground from which we can work to make the lives of all Americans a little bit better. And when our representatives disagree, I challenge them to act as mature adults versus the childish behavior that ends up as 10-second sound bytes on the evening news.
And speaking of our elected officials, let's resolve to hold off until the year of each election before the candidates announce their plans to run for office. Let's face it. I think most of us are so sick and tired of the current presidential race and how it's turned into the lowest form of reality TV imaginable.
I challenge these candidates to start the new year with a resolution aimed at giving the American taxpayers a clear, concise plan of what they would do as the leader of this nation. After the last several months, I think we've earned a break from all the mudslinging.
For all of the voters out there, let's resolve to cast our ballots for the best candidate in each election, regardless of their party affiliation. Instead of selecting people based solely on whether they have a (D) or (R) next to their name, let's choose those who exemplify the virtues of intelligence, wisdom and common sense.
When our state lawmakers return to session early next year, I urge all of them to resolve to stop wasting taxpayer dollars passing laws they know will end up in the courts and destined to die. At the same time, I urge the state legislature to stop the type of knee-jerk, shooting-from-the-hip stunts they pulled earlier this year when it came to dealing with the state's compliance with federal laws. That childish, ignorant behavior has no place in any form of government.
At the same time, let's ensure our elected officials in this state work to steer us forward into the 21st century versus what we saw this year in which they were trying to move us back into the Dark Ages.
As a state and as a nation, let's resolve to reward innovation and hard work. At the same time, let's stop penalizing hard working Americans who continue to pay the lion's share of the nation's financial obligations while others are able to avoid shouldering their share of the burden.
At a local level, I hope our county and city leaders adopt a few New Years' resolutions and use fresh, innovative ideas to foster economic growth. I urge our newly elected representatives to use their ideas and positive energy to capitalize on the progress made to date to keep that momentum moving forward in the years to come.
Let's ensure our city departments have the resources they need to do their jobs effectively and to spend taxpayer money wisely on tools and equipment that will lead to significant improvements in our communities. This includes a personal resolution of mine to ensure our city streets get the attention they need so our cars, trucks and SUVs don't take an unnecessary beating from all the potholes scaring our roadways.
On a more personal note, let's stop being so hateful and disrespectful toward others in our community. If we disagree with their opinion, let's keep it to ourselves versus splashing it all over social media or engaging in unproductive gossip. Just once, let's be more respectful to others and never speak ill of them.
While we're at it, let's spend more time with our families, stop our bad habits and maybe shed a few pounds in the process. And let's hope those resolutions last at least a few hours.
-- Brian S. Orban