The weakness and instability of human resolutions have
been a subject of derision to the satirist, and of sorrow to men in every
age. Nothing is more universal than the habit of forming these resolutions
at the beginning of the New Year, unless it be the habit of breaking them.
Perhaps one great cause for their inefficiency and failure is that they
are adopted hastily from temporary, inconstant, and inadequate motives;
but good resolves, however short-lived, reflect much good upon the moral
nature and are often kept until a good habit is established.
With every resolution there must be a great deal of effort and resistance. Mr. Ruskin says: "It is only by labor that thought is made healthy, and only by thought that labor is made happy."
A quick, courageous resolution is better than a gradual deliberation, as the impetus is apt to be greater. Many writers have said helpful things regarding resolves. Malet says: "Good resolutions are a pleasant crop to sow. The seed springs up so readily, and the blossoms open so soon with such a brave show, especially at first; but when the time of flowers is past, what as to the fruit?"
Emerson believed "a good resolution clothed itself with power," while John Foster affirms: "He who resolves upon any great and good end has, by that very resolution, sealed the first barrier to it." The poet Longfellow declared, "Resolve, and thou art free." Following are given some of the resolutions contributed to THE HOUSEHOLD by noted people:
[Ella Wheeler Wilcox's contribution from among the others:]
"To try and make unselfishness a practical possibility in the daily affairs of life."