Why fight the inevitable? It’s a fact, discovered by some guy who probably once resolved to stop generating frivolous facts, that of our many promises to quit this or
improve that, 92 percent end up unfulfilled.
Falling short on good intentions isn’t a character flaw. What would be regrettable is if we failed to acknowledge our shortcomings. The act of making these annual resolutions speaks well of our desire to be better people. Where we err, in my view, is our tendency to be a bit unrealistic in our expectations.
Had I, on Jan. 1, declared I would lose 50 pounds by the end of the month, I’d have set myself up for at best abject failure, at worst a trip to the emergency room. A more sensible commitment would be to ramp up my exercise, eat more healthfully and drop those pounds at a safe pace. Lofty goals are fine, as long as they’re grounded in reality.
Realistic or not, people are prone to the practice. Nearly two-thirds of Americans make resolutions. They’re largely familiar: bettering our health, improving our finances, quitting (insert vice here). An emerging theme is food.
I don’t mean the worn-out “cut back on the potato chips.” As food evolves from necessity to entertainment or even an expression of values, our annual to-do lists reflect the seriousness with which we regard it. Among the food related resolutions I found online are promises to support certain kinds of farmers or specific farm production practices or particular marketing chains. For those of you inclined to think this deeply about your food choices, my suggestion is this: Let’s talk.
In our page 20 story on food systems, farmer David Ernst talks about making farming “more approachable.” I’d like for Farm Bureau to be the means to that end. Let us know who in the food community you want to talk to. Where, when and about what. Let’s discuss how food and farming choices affect our health, the environment, the economy and our communities. And let’s talk about meeting each other’s expectations. Like my diet, there’s a right way and a wrong way to get where we want to be.
So, good luck carrying through on your New Year’s promises to get fit, save money, hang with the family, read, travel or bungee jump—all of which I’ve learned are among the most popular resolutions. You know what else is on most people’s lists? An intention to give—to “volunteer more” or “help others more.”
What a great goal for the coming year—to better ourselves by bettering the lives of others. Now that’s a resolution worth keeping.
Happy New Year!
John C. (Jack) Fisher
Ohio Farm Bureau executive vice president