There’s something about reaching an intersection, a point of delineation, that seems to offer hope that change for the better is possible. This is likely one reason the new year is a time of reflection and setting of goals. Also, the turning over of the calendar offers the promise of a fresh start.
Thus we have reached the time of resolutions — those internal promises of self-betterment we’ve all made at one point or another. Usually, resolutions are personal, individual. They also tend to be self-generated, rather than suggested.
But if the past five years have taught us anything, it’s that norms are made to be broken. So here, we offer a few resolutions we hope those in the Monadnock Region and the state at large might take up for 2022, reflective of the most commonly made promises each year.
The most common resolution is to improve one’s health, often either by dieting or exercising more. Many fitness chains and weight-loss programs have succeeded largely on the January payments for these good intentions. On a more macro level, the health of the region is most-threatened by the coronavirus and its variants right now. So the best resolution we can think of would be by those who’ve been, for whatever reason, opposed to simply donning a mask in public places to keep others safer. Even better, those who’ve been reluctant to get vaccinated against the virus, now’s the time. Otherwise, we fear all of us will be in this same unsettled situation 12 months from now.
Another frequent resolution is saving money or developing better financial habits. This one’s easy, as almost every public entity could tighten its belt. For a specific measure, though, the state of New Hampshire needs to stop siphoning taxpayer money meant for public education away to private entities. That’s money taken away from local public schools and only harms the education they can deliver.
Many people resolve to learn a new skill or take up a new hobby. We propose area police departments take this even more to heart by continuing to increase conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques training, the better to face the all-too-frequent situations in which they’re asked to deal with mentally or emotionally unstable subjects. More might even take up videography; say, by joining other area departments wearing cameras on their uniforms.
A promise often made is to be better organized. We’d expected to laud the city government here for its effort to streamline development permitting and cleaning up its downtown land-use code, a task that was supposed to be finished about two years ago. But after a strong start, the new code somehow still hasn’t gotten passed. It’s about time to fish or cut bait. And while we’re on the subject of Keene’s downtown, could we please find a workable parking plan that will satisfy downtown residents, businesses and patrons of all ages?
And quitting an unhealthy or unproductive habit — such as smoking, drinking or wasting time online — is a popular resolution. Our suggestion: Given that it’s been against the law for more than six years now, drivers, please resolve to get off your cellphones. Whether you’re tempted to talk, look things up or text on them, please don’t, both for your own and everyone else’s safety.
Lastly, many people will resolve to be more positive during the coming year, to be a little more charitable toward others. No place is less charitable than social media, especially when users have some feeling of anonymity. So please, resolve to be more upbeat and generous of spirit in posting to Facebook, twitter, etc., or in the comments section of websites. It won’t hurt you and it might spare someone else a little pain.
And that’s not a bad place to start fresh.