Wikipedia tells us that New Year's Resolutions are rooted in early religious practices. Well, what more do you need to know. If Wikipedia says it, it must be so. (Maybe I should make a resolution to stay away from that resource.) However, in this case, I'm inclined to believe it. Religion, at least the organized variety, has a colorful record of broken promises.
Isn't that what resolutions are all about, promises? They're promises to ourselves, the easiest kind to break.
If I've learned one thing in seventy years, it's that it's harder to avoid making promises than to keep them. I've made countless promises without stopping to think if it was one that I could keep. I would have made a helluva a politician, wouldn't I? Think about it. Every political campaign is a promise and everyone expects them to be broken. We just don't put much stock in promises, do we?
My son has taught me a new trick. Whenever he hears something that is obviously untrue, he calls it “malarkey”. It's a marvelous word, much more acceptable in polite company than the old standby, “bull shit”. Oops, please forgive that. I didn't mean to print it. (Malarkey!)
It's easy to spot malarkey. When a candidate for President (Prime Minister, if you will) says that they will lower unemployment, malarkey. No political leader can improve employment prospects except by not meddling in it, which is, of course, something they will never do. Lower taxes and remove barriers to free enterprise, and employment will rise. Tax anyone, including the rich, and attempt to impose economic stimuli, and employment will fall as businesses fail. That's no malarkey.
When a drunk promises to quit drinking, malarkey. When a philanderer promises to be true, malarkey. I'd as soon expect a skunk to spray me with rosewater.
Now, write “Malarkey” on a piece of paper and keep it at hand. Glance at it every time you make a resolution this New Years Day. It will make you feel better. Trust me.