The most common New Year resolutions include: I will quit smoking; I will lose weight; I will exercise; I will quit drinking; I will stop procrastinating; I will help others; I will save money; I will get organised; I will learn something new; I will spend more time with my friends and family.
Many people foolishly decide to attempt all these reforms at once, and end up flailing around like turtles on their backs. The secret to success is smart delegation, so it might be more practical, now that it’s been established that the world is an interdependent global village in need of serious reform, for us to work on resolutions for 2009 at a global level, and divvy them up into national tasks, with local adaptations where necessary. That way each player can focus all resources on one real problem, and no one part of the world has to do too much.
Here’s a list of who might take on what.
USA will quit smoking ’em out. It’s bad for you and for everyone around you. They keep setting fire to things, the blowback is awful, and nobody has yet stumbled through the smoke spluttering, “Bring me to justice, for the love of God.”
REPUBLIC OF NAURU will lose weight. A staggering 94 percent of the 14,000 Nauruans are obese, making it the fattest nation on earth and, at 21 sq km, the one most justified in not building too many gyms or, indeed, a capital. Micronesia, second fattest at 90 percent, may have to assist on account of nobody ever having heard of Nauru.
ISRAEL will exercise restraint. These are difficult times, but enough behaving like the Hulk every time one of those Hamas popguns goes off. By the way, what are you doing in the Gaza strip in the first place?
LUXEMBOURG will quit drinking. No, it’s not fair, but somebody’s got to do it. A good way to guard against lapses is to stop hanging out with people from France, Ireland, Portugal and (just to be safe) Russia.
PAKISTAN will stop procrastinating. Seriously. Everyone is sick of hearing, year after year, how Pakistan will set its house in order, fight its own battles, tackle its own problems, and crack down on this, that and the other. There’s no time like 2009, people.
SWITZERLAND will help others. Properly this time, not in the same way as they did during World War II with all the dubious banking stuff. However, it may maintain military neutrality.
ICELAND will save money. It’s only fair to the millions of people and various British coucils, police departments and civic services that got wiped out when the Icelandic economy went poof.
INDIA will get organised. Ha ha! This is the joke one, like ‘I will spend more time with my friends and family’. No, but really, we need to get more organised. We could ask China for a little help.
BURKINA FASO will learn something new. But it just needs to take the lead; developing nations can use a little time and space to improve themselves, and they can also use all the help they can get doing it, but really, everyone will have to work on this one.
NORTH KOREA will spend more time with friends and family. Relationships are not easy, and they need a lot of work, and you have to make a real effort to communicate your feelings. Calling up people and threatening to nuke them doesn’t count.
There, see? It’s not so hard when you share the work.