There can never be an end to New Year’s resolutions or thoughts about the year past

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE/By Maramis

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

It all depends on how you feel when you sit down to write about it, but everybody thinks about how the new year can, or will, be better than the last year has been because they just spent time pondering all the things that went wrong, caused them misery, hardship, inconvenience, pain, etc. And then they shift into what they can do to make the new year better. Hence, the custom of New Year’s Resolutions.
This year may have been a good year for mask-makers (face coverings, or call them what you will) and those who sell them, but let’s hope they’re not wishing for another “good year” like the one just past.
Some products, such as hand-sanitizers, also hit an all-time high, and some — like special gizmos to open doors with so you wouldn’t have to touch the knobs — we didn’t even know we needed. And toilet paper sales was nothing to sneeze at either. People were stocking up on something that would just be flushed down the toilet.
Over the years, people have spent lots of money on psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, and the like, to make it easier and more comfortable for them to get along with others, to be able to mingle and be engaged in conversation, and just in general to make friends.
Yet with one swipe of the mandate pen, governors everywhere across the country (with the exception of all too few) wiped out all the work that was done and sent some people back to square one when it comes to getting along with others.
Parents who had hoped and prayed their children would be able to make new friends have found that not only were they not allowed to go to school where they might make those new friends, they were unable to mingle with any “old” friends. So while none of the people who have been committed or restrained to staying home have been having much of
a social life, even a child — who especially needs socialization to develop and strengthen their character and personality — is being deprived of that extremely vital aspect of their everyday life.
It seems strange to me that Dr. Fauci (a medical doctor), and all the governors who decide to be overprotective of the people in their respective states, have chosen the greater of two evils in formulating their plan for “keeping people safe” from COVID-19.
How likely is it that a child will contract COVID-19? Well, the possibility is there, but it is far less likely than the possibility that the child will suffer from being deprived of interaction with his friends and even his grandparents. And can you even imagine what this non-touching pandemic situation will end up doing to newborn babies who do not get immediate and ongoing cuddling and touching? It has been well known that such deprivation of ample physical and emotional attention leads to higher risk for behavioral, emotional and social problems as they grow up. And that is more than a possibility.
While I’m a big fan of safety first, and that goes for one’s health as well as the physical things one needs to watch out for, I do believe in choosing the lesser when one is faced with a choice between two “evils.”
No one can know for sure which will be the lesser of two evils for everyone, but when we have to make choices (and we always do), it behooves us to make choices based on some sense of knowing the
consequences of each.
Before I delve into the kind of resolutions one may be making this year, I need to tell you about an unusual situation that occurred with my daughter before she was 16. She developed an unknown and hard to diagnose illness that required immediate attention to save her life.
In fact, the doctor told me to call anyone who might want to say goodbye to her because she was dying. So I did. Then he told me that there was a possible chance for her to recover, but the side effects of the treatment could likely cause death. So I had to choose between what the doctors said would be her very likely death, or giving her a treatment that might cause her to die. It obviously required a choice — between two evils.
Well, I don’t know what others would do, although I imagine they would choose the treatment, just as I did, since it sounded a smidgen more promising than just leaving it up to fate. But it does seem like the choice between taking a medication that can save your life, even though the medicine has horrible side effects, one of which is death, and yet people seem to choose the medicine all the time, even though the side effects do result in death for many, as those commercials on TV point out all the time, from law firms representing families whose loved one did die from using the product.
So when the doctor asked me which I preferred: to see what would happen if left up to fate, or to try the treatment that could save her life — or cause her death — I chose the latter since it seemed to have the most hope attached to it. To me, it was the lesser of the two evils.
And it was a good choice, ‘cause she’s still with us after all these years and no relapse.
Regarding resolutions, it’s not for anyone else to make them for you, but a little input into your thoughts might be useful. I suggest showing more love to the people in your life and not putting so many
things off that you promised to do for them — and for yourself. If you ever found yourself in a position where your death might be imminent — whether from an accident or an illness, or even from something your doctor might just call “old age,” even though you felt sure you’d have many more years on this mortal coil, it might be too late then to do
the things you hoped to do, planned to do, or even just wanted to do.
You may then find that you’re too weak to speak, let alone act, and all your good intentions will die with you. How much happier will be that time for you if you did all those things you intended to do. And how much happier will be those you leave behind when they talk about you for years to come, saying such things as, “He always finished any
job he started and always did those little things I asked of him,” or “What I remember most about him is that he never failed to tell me he loved me.”
Or do you think some of those memories will be more like, “If only he had finished building that bench he started…then I could at least have that to remember him by whenever I sit out in the yard.” Or, “If only he had taken the time to organize his tools and stuff instead of leaving me with such a mess…” or “She spent a lot of time with her
friends, but so little time with me, and I can’t remember the last time she told me she loved me.” There are hundreds of things you can imagine those you leave behind saying once you are gone.

You are still here. You’re still alive and able to change that possible future, just as with Scrooge when he was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Maybe in your case your life has been okay and you were not at all like Scrooge, yet people will generally remember the most recent you, and it is good to know that you can leave your loved ones, your friends, with better memories of you than they may now have. Perhaps that last Ghost was meant to show Scrooge (and all of us) that we really do have free will to change the future. May 2021 be more in keeping with the way you want people to remember you.

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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at maramistribune@gmail.com.

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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at maramistribune@gmail.com.

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