The Malta Independent 18 August 2019, Sunday

The past cannot be changed, but the future is yours

Gejtu Vella Tuesday, 2 January 2018, 08:19 Last update: about 3 years ago

Thousands have participated in the well-organised public event held in Valletta, while others gathered for receptions and other parties elsewhere to greet the New Year at midnight.  People partied all night long, hugged and kissed, while the champagne flowed.  Hopefully, the New Year would be a prosperous one for all; although to a large extent this depends on the commitment one would be prepared to take. The New Year stands before us like a fresh paragraph, page or a chapter in a book. Taking the first step may not necessarily be easy, but nonetheless imperative to ensure a good, I mean a great, chapter.  What each one of us will write in 2018 is entirely up to every author, save for some issues which are beyond us all.  But before one attempts to make resolutions for the New Year, a hard look at the past twelve months is imperative.  Though the past cannot be changed, the future can be shaped and moulded better.


The end of the year is always a time of reflection on what we have done in the previous twelve months, and what we have left undone.  And, of course, it is time for many to start thinking about resolutions for the New Year and what we will do differently, possibly better, in the coming twelve.   In setting out our resolutions, we should first step back and take stock of what it is that we really want, what we consider important in our lives, and then think about how best we might achieve it.  We must be pragmatic in the approach we take, and I would suggest even cautious so as not to underestimate obstacles which may be encountered in the process.   Nonetheless, we should not let procrastination, indecision and fear of the unknown kill our dreams of how things could be improved.

Around this time of the year, tabloids and websites extensively report on the resolutions which celebrities in the showbiz industry and glamour business commit to do during the next twelve months.  From my perspective, I find some of the resolutions rather outrageous or frivolous, so I will not delve on those.  Nor will I look at those which by tradition many commit to uphold every year but seldom keep beyond the first month of the year.  Unfortunately, it seems keeping resolutions is often easier said than done.  Some commit to improve their physical well-being, reduce stress, exercise more frequently, eat healthy food, consume less alcohol, quit smoking, lose weight and get rid of bad habits to mention a few.  Others promise to engage in more challenging resolutions, as such work harder on their career, improve their finances, get out of debt, save money, make small investments, or enter into or end a love or work relationship. The list is never-ending.  

Like in previous years I will not make any resolutions, at least not in the traditional way.  Entirely from a personal perspective, I strongly believe that whenever changes, big or small of whatever nature are required, actions and reactions have to be taken without procrastination.  I have always believed that change is an opportunity, and I see an opportunity and a purpose in every change.    

I would like to take the liberty to make a suggestion to our small society at the beginning of the New Year to take a collective resolution in addition to the personal ones.   

Whatever our diverse political perspectives, experiences, circumstances and beliefs, I believe that most of us share the understanding that it is time to address some really tough problems which have been raised in the past twelve months and that have, to a large extent, tarnished Malta’s credibility.  The common good should once again be central on the national agenda, while partisan politics should be relegated to the very bottom.  And while it is understandable that it is very easy to get distracted with petty issues planted purposely to highjack the nation’s collective attention, our society needs to set its sight on addressing the big questions and committing ourselves to what matters most to our community.     

Smooth sailing has a tendency not to bring out the best in our community, but rather makes us rely on the status quo. I propose that we start the New Year prepared and committed to tackle those uncomfortable issues that have been conveniently put aside or shadowed by more “convenient” issues.     

So I propose a new kind of “resolution”, that is, not doing one or two or three small things differently, but reflecting on our purpose and how we, collectively, can act on it every day to make an enduring impact, and be resilient as the days get harder as we know the stakes are higher for our small community overall.


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