Friday, January 1, 2016

The Things We Resolve

By Ken Johnson

For those who follow the Gregorian calendar, the New Year has officially arrived, which is at least easy for us to foresee these days. The Gregorian calendar has only been in use since 1582, when it replaced the Julian calendar which was a much more complicated calendar. No longer are augurs required as part of the calendar process.

And it is on this day, which also interestingly enough was the day that Julius Caesar was deified two thousand and fifty seven years ago, that we all must remember to start writing a different year on checks, if you still even write checks anymore. And we start our New Year's resolutions.

New Year's resolutions date back to the festival of Akitu in Mesopotamia, where as part of their New Year's festival (in the month of Nisannu now March/April) they would make promises of what they would do in the upcoming year to appease the gods. Now we make resolutions of what we want to do for ourselves.

The Babylonian promises would have to do with others, for instance returning what had been borrowed, be it a physical item or money. Now our resolutions are purely gluttonous, although for many one of the resolutions will to be less gluttonous.

As one enters 2016, tries to remember to write the new date on checks, and comes up with their resolutions, they might want to think back to the Babylonian's and instead of making gluttonous New Year's resolutions that focus purely on themselves but ones that would benefit others around them.

1 comment:

  1. Who knew the tradition has been around for so long. Hope that the Babylonians were better at keeping their promises (for themselves) than we are now at keeping our resolutions for ourselves! And, yes, wouldn't it be refreshing if we thought of others for a change!!