This is simply a long, convoluted way of informing you, dear readers, that I am going to reprint another one of my previous blogs on this occasion, since it is a still-timely subject and one that is totally relevant to the events of these past few months, for the most part.
So, without any further ado, here is an entry from my blog archives on the subject of New Year Resolutions:
It’s so exciting to see and experience all the ideas and dreams we all had back in revolutionary days, now brought to life! Some of the new inventions that have been introduced since the 1700s are absolutely amazing. And I find it quite fascinating to contemplate the numbers of new developments in society, culture, education, and government – including this quaint tradition of creating “new year’s resolutions.”
You may be interested to learn that the tradition is not new – similar customs date back to the ancient Babylonians and Romans. And in this country’s history, about a quarter of the populace did resolutions around the 1930s… which has risen to nearly 40 percent at the beginning of the 21st century.
Personally, in my day, I found the practice extremely helpful. In fact, as one of the foremost advocates of self-improvement, I had even developed back in 1726, at the young age of 20, a list of “13 virtues” http://www.pbs.org/benfranklin/pop_virtues_list.html (temperance, silence, order, frugality, sincerity, etc.) that I established for myself to follow and improve upon, in my own quest for betterment.
So what is a 308-year-old-man to do now, at the pinnacle of his life, having achieved so much and learned far more than I ever expected (especially now, having journeyed to this new 21st century)? What resolutions can I possibly come up with that are reasonable, practical, worthy, and I daresay, perhaps even somewhat witty, to guide me as I venture forth into this new year of 2014? It would be somewhat like writing a whole new set of Poor Richard’s Almanack sayings.
Upon further reflection, here are my new resolutions:
- To speak ill of no one – not even the Kardashians, despite their odd fascination with fame, fortune, and selfies.
- To invent at least one new concept, device, or philosophical understanding (which has not already been thought of), that would be of benefit to this new world of the future that I find myself in.
- As in the days of the 1700s, when I strove to increase my newspapers’ popularity and circulation, to find a novel way to multiply the numbers of people who are now reading this blog in the internet version of newspapering. Perhaps I could forge an alliance with The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com
- To continue serving as a voice of conscience for this great country which I was part of establishing so many years ago, based on the very high-minded principles of freedom, justice, and human rights which Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, myself, and others so valiantly worked to give expression to in 1776.
- To meet David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Ellen Degeneres, Oprah, or some other modern-day purveyor of public wisdom. These are individuals who are actually serving a commendable function (through another amazing invention, the television) similar to that of my original newspapers: enlightening, inspiring, educating, and entertaining the world at large through their programs.
- To acquire some new, fashionable, and more comfortable clothes for myself that are more in keeping with this 21st century I now travel about in. The ruffles, brocades, waistcoats, and breeches were appropriate for their day, but a little out of place now. I might even consider a new pair of tinted or colored bifocal spectacles, to assist me in moving about without attracting undue attention to myself.
- To lend my inspiration, creativity, encouragement, or support to the U.S. Postal Service, to help this organization recapture its once-great reputation and spirit in the face of budgetary problems, changing business needs, and an increasingly digital world. After all, I do feel some responsibility to assist them, since I was the very first Postmaster General back in 1775.
- To get a hair piece to conceal my rather noticeable bald spot, and thus allow me to convey a more youthful image. The only question is, what type of “piece” should I obtain? It has been suggested to me that a wig resembling the hairstyle of a popular entertainment figure named Elvis might be a good choice. (This gentleman was apparently of royal lineage, or so I hear, since he was also referred to as a King.) Now, lest any of my readers mistakenly think that I am seriously considering this particular resolution, let me assure them that I am not, and have only mentioned this idea as my feeble attempt to be witty and amusing. This resolution is totally in jest!
- To make a return visit to France, in order to reacquaint myself with the country in which I spent so much time engaged in the work of diplomacy, in order to secure support for the American Revolution. While I was there, I had such a very pleasant, pleasurable, and extremely gratifying experience, and so would like to travel there again to cherish fond memories.
- As long as I seem to be flitting about the centuries, through this phenomenon called “time travel,” perhaps I should make my concluding resolution one of scientific curiosity and investigation: to venture even further into the future, to see what lies beyond this present age of 2013. After learning where American has come in only three hundred years, I would so much enjoy discovering the America of 3013, to see for myself how this great experiment in democracy fares in the more distant future.
Your humble servant,