Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1178, (2 - 8 January 2014)
Wednesday,19 June, 2019
Issue 1178, (2 - 8 January 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Our New Year resolutions

We are done with the feasting and merry-making, blowing horns and beating drums and stamping our feet over the grave of the past year. May we never see the likes of it again!

Let us now ring in the New Year with renewed hope and optimism, with rejuvenated exhilaration and replenished determination.

Our first task is to vote in our new constitution, without fear or hesitation. It is the first step on the road to a long journey, to liberate ourselves and our nation from the shackles of Islamists’ tyranny.

As we look back and reflect on what was, we must also now look forward to what will be. We must shake the torpor that possessed us for so long, roll up our sleeves and get to work.

This life of idle despair, with misfortune and tragedy buzzing and stinging one and all, is a thing of the distant past, so distant it seems like an old frightful nightmare. Were we really overcome by ugly old men with very long beards and very cruel hearts? All we see now are vigorous young men, brimming with energy, confidence and a will of steel. They will build a future: “nearer to our heart’s desire’, with all the ‘perks and plums’ we so sorely missed!”

This is the time we all make resolutions, a promise to ourselves to do or not to do something beneficial. The usual resolutions are to diet, diet, diet… and exercise, kick the habit, whatever it may be, smoking, excessive drinking etc, but how often do we make and break those resolutions?

According to the University of Scranton, US, a mere eight per cent of those making resolutions achieve them: “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

Resolutions are ancient customs that are associated with religious rituals. The ancient Babylonians, fearing the wrath of the gods made promises at the start of each year, to return borrowed tools, or pay off old debts. The Romans made promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named. During the mediaeval era, knights took “peacock vows” at the end of Christmas to reaffirm their commitment to chivalry.

Judaism’s new year, Rosh Hashanah, through Yom Kippur, “the day of atonement”, is the time for Jews to think of their wrongdoings over the year and seek forgiveness. Similarly, Catholics fast during Lent to atone for their sins.

The concept, regardless of creed is to reflect upon our imperfections and consider means of self-improvement, once a year. It is a commendable exercise if we were to stick to it. Most of us abandon our resolutions within a few short weeks. In a study involving 3,000 people by professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Bristol showed that 88 per cent fail. His recommendations are to seek public support and to concentrate on small measurable, more achievable goals for better results.

We, the people of Egypt have undertaken to make resolutions for this New Year. We the people of Egypt feel the gravity of our task. We are determined to be among the few winners to achieve our goals. 

We the people of Egypt resolve to be loyal to our land of birth, never to betray it, whatever the price.

We resolve to be ardent supporters of our valiant Armed Forces who have cherished and protected our shores for over 7,000 years.

We resolve to aid and assist our police force already over-burdened by the state of lawlessness and purposeless turbulence that have plagued the land.

We resolve to provide work for every labourer, opening factories, improving technology, launching new industrial projects and affording him decent wages to sustain his family with honour and propriety.

We resolve to increase our farm land and farm products to provide enough for the needs of our citizens, with plenty of supplies left over for export.

We resolve that every young, vigorous university graduate will find a good-paying job awaiting him, to start his career with hope and propriety, well on the way to fulfilling his dreams.

We resolve to seek and find the best teachers in whose hands we shall entrust the education of our children, the keepers of Egypt’s future destiny. Education is the most forceful, most effective weapon against hunger, poverty and disease. Let us supplement our good teachers’ salaries so they can live with grace and dignity and not resort to useless private lessons that only overburden parents with meager means.

We resolve to spread the truth about the horrors of the Monstrous Brotherhood. We are to speak clearly of the evils of Islamist rule… not only to some naïve and ignorant natives within our land, but specifically to those turning a blind eye, outside this land.

We resolve to never allow this great land to be divided by colour or creed. May it always remain intact and whole on the global map, as it always was and always will be. Let our differences and disputes be settled among ourselves without outside interference.

We resolve to make the words “Made in Egypt” a sign of high quality, sought by the whole world.

We resolve with a loud, reverberating sound never, ever to allow false Islamists to dominate this sacred land of ours.

We resolve not to fail in any of our resolutions.

And last but not least, out of last year’s hell, let us build this year’s heaven, as God is our witness.

“Who could have thought my shrivelled heart,

Could have recovered greenness?”

George Herbert (1593-1633)

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