A New Year’s Resolution
2015 is about to start and, as I do almost every year, I’ve been thinking about resolutions and whether or not I should make a few. As has been the case in the past, I’ve had my doubts about the value of New Year’s resolutions. If I study the past and reflect on what I consider to be the best decisions I’ve made in my life I come to the conclusion not one of them was actually made on or even near January 1st.
My decision to try and write a book was made one day in October 2013 when I, in all my innocence, questioned on Twitter whether or not it is true that everybody has at least one story in them. Friends jumped on the Tweet and ensured me not only would I find at least one story hiding somewhere deep inside, I should also try to write it. And what better opportunity to test my writing skills, than NaNoWriMo, which was about to start a couple of weeks later. Thirteen months and two publishing deals later I have to admit accepting their challenge has been one of the better decisions I’ve ever made.
Another good decision I made recently was to stop buying cigarettes. That one was made on June 1st last and I have more or less been able to stick to it, much to my surprise if I’m honest. I could go on and present more examples of wonderful decisions I made on dates other than January 1st, but I think you get the idea.
I don’t really view the start of a New Year as anything other than a reason for me to make mistakes whenever I have to write the date down. It usually takes me about a month before I remember to use the right year. Having said all of that, this year I do have a project I will start on January 1st.
In May 2015 Ireland will hold a referendum on marriage equality. This is a cause I have strong feelings about. In fact, I wouldn’t even call them feelings. I never have and never will understand why two people who are both of age and love each other shouldn’t be allowed to marry, should they wish to do so. How does it affect anybody else, and why should other people have a say in the matter? I just don’t get it. I don’t care nor interfere with where people choose to live, what sort of car they want to drive or any other personal decision. Why should whether or not they wish to get married be any different?
Because I feel so strongly about it and because the discussions I’ve been hearing and reading in the media recently have infuriated me, I have decided to crawl out of my shell and for once in my life take a stand. This is a rather big decision for me. I don’t like drawing attention to myself, I abhor conflict and tend to bite my tongue rather than speak up about issues, no matter how important or personal. Because I expect the discussion to get more intense and potentially more divisive as soon as the media and politicians return from their Christmas break, this is one decision which will take effect on January 1st.
I have written all my arguments to counter the naysayers down in a post I will share, probably tomorrow. These are the same arguments I intend to inundate the media with whenever I encounter what I consider to be ill thought-out, bigoted or mean-spirited comments on those media platforms. It scares me that I will be sticking my head above the parapet but it is something I feel I have to do. Either way, and whatever the outcome, it will be over no later than coming June. Six months of potential discomfort are not too big a price to pay for something I feel as strongly about as I do about marriage equality.
I have no vested interest in this argument. My marriage is as traditional as it is happy. I think that may make me more, rather than less qualified to speak; or, if not qualified, then at least an impartial participant. It will make no difference to my life and happiness whether or not this referendum is passed. I do believe the world will be a better place if we manage to get rid of yet another form of inequality. People are people and love is love. The sooner the world understands that principle and starts living and legislating accordingly, the sooner all of us will be living in a better and happier environment.
I guess this is just a heads up. It is quite possible I’ll bore you to tears with my thoughts on this matter between now and next June. I do it in the belief it is not only the right, but also the only thing to do, and I refuse to apologize for it.