The first weeks of the new year slipped by before I realized that I had not made a resolution. The entire concept of the New Year's resolution is based on the idea that the advent of a new calendar year is also the birth of a new person within oneself. It is a beautiful idea, filled with hope and good intentions. Although many people do not keep their resolutions, the practice is an opportunity to point out what is wrong with one's life, and bring the possibility of righting that wrong.
I am uncertain if this is a good year for hope. Most resolutions are connected to eating and weight control. The hope behind changing certain habits lies in the fundamental belief that we as individuals can bring a change for the better through our own actions. Such belief requires the willful ignorance of entropy.
Everyone knows that entropy is the tendency of the universe to fall apart at every level. It means that the energy and matter available to us today, will eventually be something unusable. According to entropy, the universe is on the road to inevitable collapse and there is no way to stop it.
Our resolutions are often shallow, forgettable, and vague. As insincere as these resolutions are, the making of them is in itself a sort of declaration that one is attempting to slow the inevitable. Such a mission is hopeless, irrational, and foolish. If that is true, does that mean that human ideas of improvement and self-change are based on falsehood?
I once thought so. Everyone dies, beyond that, we die alone; what matter is it if we felt different chemical highs when being around people? Of what significance is it if we do anything on our way to the grave?
This is where the existential dread sets in and you shut down and binge watch a series while eating junk food.
The nihilism can be rough, until one realizes that the irrational is not impossible. For example, pi is an irrational number. It is such a cumbersome unit, that the most precise uses of it are still approximation. Just imagine, every circle created by mankind is based around a geometric term that is impossible to use in a truly accurate manner, meaning that on some level, many of the most basic objects in the world are based on a guess.
Humans are irrational, it is okay. If we were to pretend otherwise, we would be dooming ourselves to endless failure and disappointment. Yet, our world is not entirely rational, which means we all still have a chance. If entropy was inevitable, then one might expect that our whole universe would have collapsed a long time ago. I like to think that our actions actually slow down the decay.
For those people that bothered to make a resolution, congratulations; you have taken a stand against the unstoppable end of the universe. Good job.
On the other hand, if you have no intention of making a resolution, you survived. Brace yourself for the next dozen months.