The birth of a new year has an optimistic effect on most of us. It seems to offer the
opportunity to put all bad feelings and judgements behind us. Traditionally, it is the
time for resolutions, giving us the chance to start again, to ‘move forward’.
Acknowledging the mistakes we have made during the past year, we can draw a line
under them and re-invent ourselves. For Auld Lange Syne.
The birth of a child has a similar effect, not least for its parents who vow that they will
do things differently now. They won’t make the same mistakes their parents made
with them. If they have children already, they will learn from what they think have
been their least successful tactics or mistakes when it comes to the new child.
That at least is the plan: whether it works out like that or was ever likely to in the first
place is a very different matter, not unlike the new year resolutions that are often
forgotten by the end of January at the latest.
Parents, filled with determination to do things differently, can and do find themselves
slipping into the same old patterns, saying the same things, making the same
mistakes. Perhaps that isn’t so surprising if we consider for a moment that it is the
behaviours we are not aware of that may have the greatest effect on our children
for good or ill, just as those behaviours our own adult guardians were not aware of
had the greatest effect on us.
How can it be any different if those behaviours, concealed in our subconscious,
remain undiscovered or unresolved?
Perhaps the only resolution that stands a chance of being fulfilled is the one that is
accompanied by a true desire to discover ourselves and the dynamic forces within us
that make us who and what we are. Or, even more important, who and what we