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Another year has flown by and I haven’t a clue where it’s gone. What have I done in the last 12 months that was any different from the preceding 12? If I’m honest with myself, apart from the very gratifying ‘same old’ I’ve been privileged to enjoy every day, I’ve done very little else, and this should be a concern to me as my 2016 New Year’s resolution was to ‘do something different’. Perhaps ‘to stay comfortably lazy’ is the term I should be using.

O.K. so having failed dismally with that one, how about me trying to change somebody else’s life for the better in 2017?

We reckon we can easily see flaws in the way others live their lives; we kind of know don’t we, what they should be doing to jack themselves up, and probably feel frustrated because they don’t have our incisively controlled vision – careful though – telling them to lose weight or change their hairstyle is not going to make us any friends. Presumptuous I know, but I feel quite strongly about two simple things that people could be doing in order to change or improve their lives, but they’d need a gentle push from someone like me in order to get them going in the right direction.
Firstly, in this frenzied world of bite-sized information gathering via the ether, we’ve forgotten how to read, so perhaps a gift of an inspirational book, written by someone who’s changed their life for the better in a simple but powerful way would do the trick. With our world going the way it is, what about some environmentally inspiring stuff that can fire up a new interest? An easy to read guide on garden birds (plants, insects, frogs, snakes?) might do the trick for the person whose life you’d like to change, but you can’t just give them the book and walk on – no – you must share the inspiration with them and (subtly) help them see how they can change their lives for the better by thinking differently. Secondly, many people have adopted the belief that everything they see on TV is life as it really is, and live their lives vicariously, couch potatoes becoming the people they see on the screen. Take your friend away for an overnight stay at an easily accessible spot in the bush, not too expensive, nor too rustic, but away from the controlling TV screen and streaming Facebook. Go where they can experience the simplicity of life – quiet but inspirational weekends in the bush trump any overseas holiday.

Are our lives so full that we can’t find time to do anything apart from what we’re currently doing, let alone read a book or turn off the TV?
So how’s this for my 2017 resolution? I’m going to help someone else do something different this year, knowing that if I can change that person’s life for the better, I’ll also change my own.

© pat mckrill. 2016herpet@eastcoast.co.za  ♦  Cell: 0833036958