How easy it is to make New Years resolutions.
Im going to be a better person this year, you might say.
Or perhaps more specifically: Im going to shop local, and Im not going to speed on 32nd Street. Or, Im going to buy a wetsuit and swim the English Channel.
How simple is that? Childs play.
After decades of doing it that way, its time to try something else. This year, Im adding a degree of difficulty. Im going to make New Years resolutions for other people. Its not only more challenging, but its way more fun.
Yes, my New Years resolution is to tell other people how to run their lives. No doubt, I will be a popular person in 2013.
Hmm, where to start. How about the mighty halls of Congress?
Resolution for representatives: I want you to forget about your political futures. I want you to consider only the good of your country. Thats it.
Do not consider your lobbyist a friend. Do not worry about offending the party leadership.
Think only of your constituents and what is truly in your heart. Make the decision that will most benefit the United States of America. Deliver us gracefully from the fiscal cliff.
For juries, judges and parole boards: Do not let people out of jail who have killed their grandmother with a hammer. (See Webster, N.Y., Christmas Eve.)
For teams facing the Broncos: Be nice to Peyton Manning. Tackle him if you must. But put him on the ground gently, then help him back up. Just because weve got Von Miller trying to take your quarterbacks head off doesnt mean you shouldnt treat Manning like a middle-aged man whos had three neck surgeries.
For anyone who talks politics with me: Do not hear the first thing I say and put me in a box. Do not instantly label me as conservative or liberal. Thats too easy. Try to bend your mind. Try out new ideas. Its not a weakness. Its how you remain nimble. Its how you grow. I will give you every opportunity to be malleable, and I expect the same courtesy.
For people with guns: Shoot at targets. Shoot at clay pigeons. Shoot at toy soldiers. Shoot at animals, if you can use the food. Do not shoot at people unless theyre about to shoot or stab or otherwise severely injure you.
For people with guns, part 2: The Second Amendment is extremely important, and I do like the idea that a government cant just willy-nilly run roughshod over U.S. citizens. Lets not gut the second, or any other, amendment.
That being said, can anyone seriously believe that James Madison wrote the Second Amendment with our current situation in mind? We have a society in which crazy people are regularly acquiring guns and massacring kids. In 1791, the worry was that a tyrannical government would form a strong, standing army and subjugate its citizens.
Ive been studying the Second Amendment. Its not clear to me where it says, and the right to have semiautomatic machine guns with 30-round magazines, shall not be infringed. But Ill read it again just to see if Ive missed something. (Also, keep in mind that things do change. For example, when implemented, the Bill of Rights did not apply to blacks or Native Americans.)
Many factors, including violent video games and movies, and inadequate mental-health care, are part of the quandary too. So heres the simple New Years resolution: Lets at least keep everything on the table when talking about our lethal problem.
For my excitable puppy: Do not jump on people, especially those older than 65. Not everyone appreciates how cute you are or will forgive you so easily. If you jump on someone younger than 65, at least wipe off your paws first.
For the weather gods: Please pummel the parched parcels of Southwest Colorado with a profuse pack of snow.
For everyone: Be kind to your family, neighbors, friends and those less fortunate. And, if you can stand it, be nice to yourself.
Well, there you have it. A more perfect world for 2013. Youre welcome. It wasnt easy, but now that its done, I feel better.
Nope, I wont improve one iota in 2013. Ill still be the same dolt I was in 2012. But thats OK. This is all about you.
Dont screw up.
firstname.lastname@example.org. John Peel writes a weekly human-interest column.