Resolutions for the New Year

Mark Cohen, Nederland.   Well, it’s a new year, so I took some time to reflect on how I could improve during 2016.  Many people make resolutions for the New Year, but their resolve tends to weaken over time. I think one reason for that is that people set the bar too high. They said, “I’m going to run for President this year” or “I’m going to lose two hundred pounds by next month.” Not wanting to make that mistake, I decided to try to keep my resolutions for the New Year more realistic. Here they are:
First, I resolve not to f$^&k up.

Second, I resolve not to kill anyone no matter how strong my desire or how deserving the potential victim may be.

Third, I will cut back on my freakin’ cussing.

Fourth, I will be more optimistic in spite of the fact that the media bombards me every day with news of war, poverty, injustice, corruption, stupidity, and environmental catastrophe. Not to mention the fact that the sun will burn out in a few billion years and earth will become a frozen ball of ice so cold that the only creatures capable of surviving here will be Republican politicians.

Fifth, I’m gonna work on my freakin’ humility. Let’s face it, I had the good fortunate to be born a white male in the wealthiest nation on earth, to parents that were not horrible. I had many advantages that contributed to my success. In America, a white male in a white shirt and striped tie can get away with just about anything.  (BTW, a big shout out to the Gilpin County deputy that just gave me a warning for speeding a few weeks ago).

Sixth, I will be more grateful. I don’t have cancer. Not counting mental health issues, I don’t have any illnesses. My thirteen-year-old SUV is paid for and runs great. (Shout out to Terry for taking such great care of it). The Broncos snagged the number 1 seed even though they had a new coach and started an inexperienced quarterback for part of the season. There is much to be thankful for.

Seventh, I will take better care of myself. I will floss and brush my teeth each day and try not to wear the same underwear more than two days in a row.

Eighth, I won’t let little things upset me. Whenever I sense tension coming on, I will take a deep breath and relax all my muscles as I exhale. Except when a driver slows down as they approach the freeway on the ACCELERATION ramp. I’m still gonna give those people the imaginary finger.

Ninth, I am going to try to respect the opinions of those who do not share my political beliefs. If a politician believes God created the earth six thousand years ago in spite of the evidence of carbon dating, they have a right to be stupid. This is America. If a politician thinks the fact that in the past fifty years we reached 300 parts per million and then 400 ppm in atmospheric carbon dioxide for the first time in 800,000 years is completely unrelated to our use of fossil fuels, well, I guess it could just be a coincidence.  If a politician who values the sanctity of life wants to give tax breaks to the rich while poor people lack access to basic healthcare, who am I to point out the hypocrisy? If a politician opposes abortion but wants to de-fund Planned Parenthood, who am I to point out that Planned Parenthood provides services that prevent unwanted pregnancies and thereby helps reduce the number of abortions?

If a politician claims to believe in states’ rights, but then opposes the right of the states to legalize marijuana or assisted suicide, who am I to point out the inconsistency?

Finally, I won’t take it personally if someone doesn’t immediately like one of my Facebook posts. As Sun Tzu once said, “True friends can go for hours without liking each other’s Facebook posts, but when that after dinner like finally comes through, it’s like that long absence was never there.”

There you have it. Ten realistic resolutions for the New Year. Wish me luck.

Mark Cohen

Mark Cohen, J.D., LL.M., is a lawyer in Nederland, Colorado. He is also the author of the Pepper Keane mystery series. A former chairperson of the editorial board of The Colorado Lawyer magazine, one of his interests is the use of Plain English rather than legal jargon.