Questions for the new year

You’re not separate from the world.

Put another way, you’re always being brought about by –

the environments you spend time in and how you spend time in them – where you live, what you have around you, the place where you work, how you travel, the pattern of contact with the built world and the natural world

the tools you use and how you use them – smartphones, screens, pen and paper, pots and pans, musical instruments, technology, what you read (and what you don’t read), money, the tools of any work you do

the social systems of which you’re part – family, society, city, nation – with their rules, expectations, norms, culture,laws, stories about people and about what’s possible

who you have around you – your family, friends, colleagues, those who’ll tell you what you want to hear, those who’ll tell you the truth, those who you can ask for help, those who ask for help from you, communities you’re part of, solitude

and the conversations you’re part of – what gets spoken about, and what doesn’t

And this is one of the many limits of new year’s resolutions. They assume that you are an individual shaper of your own world, when it’s more the case that who you are, and so much of your way of being in the world, is being brought about by what you’re part of.

In that light, it might be helpful to go into the new year with some measure of acceptance, that not everything can be changed by you alone.

And with some big questions in mind:

What kind of people do I want around me?

What kind of environments?

What kind of community?

Who am I becoming through what I own, and how I use it?

What conversation do I want to be part of?

Who can help me in all this?

And who can I help in return?

 Photo by Lior Solomons-Wise

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