Emma Kakololo The New Year has dawned and again I’m asking you to sHut uPP!!! and listen to your conscience, the little voice in our heads that we all take for granted and of course, we all have it! This time I ask you to sHut uPP!!! for one reason only and that is, when you make pledges for the new year that you know, for sure, you are not going to fulfil. For those who don’t know what I’m taking about, I’m talking about the New Year resolutions. As the New Year eclipses, all of us yearn for a fresh start and make pledges that we seldom follow. Allow me to be frank, in actual fact, very often we don’t really mean it when we make those wishes. We probably say them because we don’t want to look stupid before our friends, the close friends and the not so close ones, strangers, those we only know by name, colleagues, family… you name it! Well, I say, forget about looking stupid, the only person you are fooling here is yourself, and no one else. Year in, year out, we say the same things but we do nothing to make them happen. Every year you hear, as if betting on a racing horse: “This year I want to quit smoking…I want to stop drinking alcohol…I want to get married…I’m going to study hard this year and improve my grades…I want to save money…I want to pay off my debts…lose weight… so so many a resolution. But come middle of the year and you dare ask what was said at the beginning of the year, you are a rabble-rouser. “Hey pal didn’t you say you were going to quit smoking this year,” one will be reminded inquisitively. The response will definitely be: “Listen here, me and my cigarettes are coming along for 16 years, who are you to tell me to stop smoking?” (Excuse me, did I ask you to stop smoking? Hmmm.) You will be reminded again: “Didn’t you say you were going to stop drinking alcohol in 2006,” and the answer would be: “Whose money is it?” (Hmmm?) Again you ask: “Didn’t you say you are getting married this year?” curtly you would be told: “Can you get me a wife?” To those who braved the January economic bird-flu by starting to save as part of their New Year resolution, let it not be for January and February only, because sooner, the money lending companies would be swamped with long queues. (There goes the New Year resolution…) What about those who swore to stop swearing this year? Try to remind them and you get a new dictionary of vulgarities, within the year. Even if you try to sound less intruding and you ask something like: “Didn’t you say you were going to change this year?” No matter how polite you try to sound, the answer you get would leave you thunderstruck for a week, like for example: “Last year was last year, and this year is this year.” Hmmm, isn’t that what psychologists call a defence mechanism, when you try to deny, distort reality, thoughts, and action? I’m not trying to say that all of you out there don’t commit to your pledges, but to those who don’t, they need to evaluate themselves. Indeed, humanity is an enemy of itself and nobody else. New year resolutions are very important, they help us change things in our lives that we know may be doing us harm and/or others harm, therefore we should not allow the new year to come and go and nothing has changed. To our leaders out there who make empty promises year in and out, now it’s time for self-reflection. Normalcy should be your real aim. I know by now you are all dying to know what my resolution for 2006 is and whether I would be able to commit. This year I’m going to stop telling people to sHut uPP!!! But whether or not I’m going to succeed, your actions would tell. Tschusssssss!!
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