You say you want a resolution — oh, right, that's supposed to be "revolution." Well, you know we all want to change the world...
And if there's a grain of truth to that bumper sticker kicking around as an inspirational quote from Gandhi — "Be the change you wish to see" — then just maybe the seeds of change could reside in our New Year's resolutions. Make that our well-intended but usually forgotten resolutions.
To resolve means to make up your mind or decide firmly. It can also mean to solve, explain or clear up something. Both meanings get caught up in New Year's resolutions, and it's this little dance of duality that makes things interesting.
I don't know about you, but out of custom I usually make a resolution or two this time of year, and it's usually about something to do with food and the excessive consumption thereof, or exercise and the lack thereof. Then around March it's business as usual and I'm back in Normalville.
After all these years of broken promises I've concluded the slippage really doesn't matter that much other than the embarrassment of getting busted if I was foolish enough to declare my intentions out loud in a room of soused-up partiers.
I've also realized that intent itself can be okay, too. Even if the action doesn't fully materialize, the effort and conversations that follow pull us down a new path that just might clear up something.
So in the spirit of resolutions and good intentions, fulfilled or not, here are some concepts for the New Year. And if all this resolution-ary, revolutionary stuff is a little too earnest for you, scroll to the end for the best part.
Resolved: Less is more
With the number of obese people on Earth now outweighing the number of people who are hungry, I think we could tip the scales in our own favour and make some movement toward social equity at the same time by trying to cut down on our portion sizes. Say something reasonable, like five per cent?
Of course the idea presupposes that you're not going hungry yourself. If not, it shouldn't be that hard to do, given the following: One, people usually eat what's put in front of them. Two, research shows that the average portion size has increased dramatically over the years.
A 2011 study by the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina called the increase over the past 30 years in the portion sizes of pizzas, hamburgers, cheeseburgers and Mexican fast food "remarkable."
Think of the pounds you'll save — and the dollars!
The 2011 Cost of Eating in BC report by the Dieticians of Canada states that, on average, it costs $868.42 per month to feed a family of four in British Columbia. That's slightly lower than the cost in 2009 ($872 per month) but way more than the 2007 figure ($715). For a family receiving the $1,851 in social assistance they get each month in B.C., 2011 food costs are 47 per cent of their monthly income.