Year End

Berdasarkan kalender Gregorian, bulan Desember adalah bulan terakhir dalam satu tahun. Dari pertama kali saya sekolah (kecuali sekarang), bulan Desember selalu menjadi saat-saat berakhirnya waktu sekolah dan dimulainya waktu liburan. Setelah bulan penutup tahun, datanglah bulan Januari dengan tahun yang baru. Banyak orang yang menggunakan momen ini untuk membuat resolusi tahun baru, dengan mencatat hal-hal apa yang ingin mereka raih atau lakukan di tahun tersebut.

Tapi, seringkali resolusi itu tidak terwujud. Bukan semata-mata karena kekurangan atau kelemahan orang tersebut, tapi mungkin karena memang sifat manusia yang tidak ingin berubah. Kita cenderung mencari kondisi homeostatis (keseimbangan), sehingga berubah itu bukan suatu hal yang mudah untuk dicapai.

Jadi apakah sebaiknya orang-orang membuat resolusi tahun baru? Menurut Alain de Botton, sebaiknya sih iya:

We don’t tend to make resolutions about things we completely believe in. Few of us would ever resolve to be appalled by war or disease.  It just comes naturally.  But we do resolve all the time to be kinder or more hardworking, because a sizeable part of us loves being cruel and sitting around.  A resolution always hovers over a grave inner conflict and constitutes a vow by one part of ourselves against another.  Which is why – according to some – we should never be so foolish as to make a resolution.

And yet we need resolutions – even if we don’t actually manage to carry them through or rather, precisely because we rarely manage to do so.  Trying to lead a moral and a good life must mean regularly daring ourselves to be good.  It’s sometimes said that deep down we are all essentially honest, well-meaning and kind.  I’m not too sure: left to our own devices, we have a frightening tendency to be self-indulgent, selfish, narcissistic and lazy.  So we need resolutions for the same reason as we need laws: to keep ourselves in check.

A resolution is a voluntary abdication of our freedom and immediate gratification in the interests of a higher goal.  As such, it is a symbol of civilization, defined as an institution which regulates our wilder, more destructive desires for the sake of the common wealth and our own flourishing.  Resolutions are minor laws that we pass against our unruly selves.

We might be tempted to mock the public nature of resolutions.  Why resolve things at New Year? Why tell people? Precisely for the same reason that we tend to go in for public marriage: because it can be useful to back up our own resolve with the pressure that stems from the expectation of others.  It is often not bad enough to let ourselves down, so in addition, we need the fear of letting lots of people down to keep us on track.  By being declared in public, a resolution gains confirmation and amplification.  We can use the energy that surrounds the birth of a new year to lend our own inner change some impetus.

Jadi, apa resolusi tahun baru 2014 kalian? (ada buanyaaaaak tips dan kiat-kiat membuat resolusi tahun baru di internet, googling aja)

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