Doorway to a New World | Sunday Observer

Doorway to a New World

26 December, 2021

I asked the leaves of the mango tree if they have made their new year resolutions. They waltzed merrily and grinned at me saying, of course not.

The shoe-flower near me looks happy even though her life is short, just as her friend the butterfly does not seem to mind he cannot fly as high as the parrots having a feast on top of the star-fruit tree. The parrots in turn are happy listening to the Blue-tailed Bee-eater’s yarns of far off lands. The snail doesn’t grudge the cat for being able to run up the guava tree at lightning speed and even the cat who knows without a doubt the earth revolves around her is gracious enough to admit the German Shepherd in the mansion down the street might be leading a better life, but she is not the one to make a fuss about it.

Their theory is simple. If you are happy with what you have you don’t need resolutions. Unless there is a defiant streak in you, you don’t need to force yourself to be a Jonathan Livingston Seagull every new year. Unless you need to break off from a bad addiction you don’t need to change your ways. Think of the kingfisher who loves his own company and refuses to find a partner just because the inquisitive porcupine four trees away wants him to. Think of the plain, shapeless pea-hen who is proud of the way she looks and would not dream of changing her appearance to please her mate. Worried about the spots on your face? The sun’s got them too.

Why begin 2022 by issuing orders to yourself to eat less, earn more, find the perfect partner, get a promotion, buy a car? If you have them, you have them. If you don’t, forcing yourself to work hard to get them by making resolutions on January 1 is not the answer.

Step out of doors instead and watch the clouds go by. Talk to Mr. Squirrel about the sad state of the world right now. Share your darkest worries with the mango leaves. Look at the shadows on the grass until they disappear into the sunset. Listen to the wise old owl on the breadfruit tree. In all probability, he will be happy you are not stressing yourself over your shortcomings in the year about to begin. He will quote Oscar Wilde and remind you, resolutions aren’t really all that good because their origin is pure vanity. Their result is absolutely nil.

If you must do something good to begin the year with, be magnanimous, choose the perfect gift to commemorate our ancestors, to welcome our future progeny into this world, to give the tiniest living being a chance to live. A gift far better than imposing a strict set of rules on yourself. A gift that will guarantee the three-hundred-and-sixty-five days ahead will be the happiest you have ever known.

Find a tiny piece of planet earth, dig a hole, scatter a few seeds. Open the door to a better world.