This theme gets reiterated throughout the High School Music trilogy, but one of my favorite ironies is that while the creed they sing is one of interdependence and togetherness, the most important developments of the plot lines revolve around characters finding ways to distinguish and individuate themselves.
That's what we do in America. We become ourselves. We become self-realized. We focus our ambition and we achieve the great heights we were destined to reach.
New Years resolutions are far too often these kinds of statements. Articulations of our own self-focused, self-oriented ambition.
Increasingly, I believe that any resolution, any personal change can ONLY come about because of the groups we're a part of, the habits we've established, and the skills we've practiced. Real change is *dependent* upon those who are around us.
So maybe my new years resolutions this year will just be to be more like some of the mentors who have invested in me and shaped me...
More impassioned, affirming and intuitive like Jack.
More hospitable, open and invitational like Carol.
More investing, aware and giving like Barb.
More subtle, articulate and loving like Bev.
More honest and forthright and sacral like Harry.
More fair, careful and specific like Julie.
More ambivalent, integrative and aware like Al.
More humble, questioning and laughing like Mark.
More expressive and available like my mom.
More generous and present like my dad.
Maybe my resolution this year will be to just use the good gifts that I've already been given more intentionally and gratefully.