27 January 2012

New Year Rulin's

From Woody Guthrie's journal, January 1st 1943

            I stumbled upon this list of New Year’s Resolutions from 1943, penned by the folk musician, Woody Guthrie when he was just thirty years old.   The list is composed not only in absolute earnest, but it is ripe with wisdom and humanity.  Woody Guthrie's resolutions encompass a philosophy we should all adhere to.  It is okay to want creature comforts; to want to eat good and dream good, and this list instills my resolve to continue to appreciate the small things- from the habitual process of making a hot cup of coffee to relishing my dad’s many stories about growing up in New York.  On the other hand, life can’t solely be about making oneself happy- it’s time to work more and better.  A lot of young adults growing up in middle class America glide through their twenties like they're on a joyride.  Have fun now because soon you'll be old and grey and bogged down with responsibility.  We often don’t make up our minds on important issues or stand behind our beliefs unless it’s something that is directly going to benefit us.   If we have strong personal opinions on anything, it’s the latest Radiohead album, and many of our debates revolve around who should go out and buy the pizza or whether or not SNL is worth watching anymore.  So although I admit I am going to continue to try and play and sing good and read lots of good books, Mr. Guthrie has also inspired me to make sure I love everybody- not just the people who make it easy and love me in return.  In 2012 I want to learn people better and I want to strive to live life for something beyond myself, in fact I'm beginning to realize that that is the best way to truly stay glad.  I challenge you to join me, because it’s never too late to wake up and fight.

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