“Little by little, one travels far” – J. R. R. Tolkien
Last year at this time I wrote “Resolutions, Looking Back at 2010 and Ahead to 2011” – it seemed appropriate to keep the same working title. I went back and read that old post just now. I think I was a little more poetic back then. Not sure what changed. So, what about my 2011 resolutions, conjectures, and predictions – how did it go?
Well, on the blogging front things went fine. We made our goal of 250 posts (253 to be exact). I didn’t make viewership goals public (noting at the time that I didn’t want to reveal just how few people read this blog) – but I will note that we had a 50% growth in “page-views” from 2010 to 2011 … an imperfect measure to be sure, but probably the best we can get. We didn’t really accomplish anything on the “move beyond blogging” front; but there’s always 2012.
As for other conjectures. Well, the economy wasn’t as bad as I had thought, which is a good thing (but 2012 isn’t shaping up to be that nice). There were some military conflicts that pointed, hopefully, to freedom. Moammar Khaddafi is gone. Kim Jong Il is gone (though not because of a war). But Bashir Al-Assad and the mad-mullahs of Iran are still around.
The free people of America are still working through just what must be done to save freedom. They are obviously taking those considerations seriously – Ron Paul us up over 12% in the Real Clear Politics average for the Republican nomination. No, 12% isn’t 50%, but it’s a move upward, which implies people are seriously considering what must happen to rescue the country and coming to the conclusion that Constitutional government really is a viable alternative.
On the private front, we did successfully give more money to useful causes last year – causes that are actually changing lives in the world. (I noted to a friend recently that I have never and probably will never donate to a political campaign because it is much easier to give money to real people doing real work to impact the needy. That’s not to say political donations are immoral, not at all, I’ve just never gone that route myself.) My personal choices for people and organizations having an impact across the world:
- The Laurel Pregnancy Center (a crisis pregnancy center here in the Columbia area working to save the lives of the unborn)
- Baltimore Teen Challenge (Bill & Joyce Parks work to bring the love of Christ and deliverance to drug addicts in Baltimore)
- The Sonshine Center (David and Chris Anasco work with the impoverished street kids in the city of Iloilo in the Philippines, providing food and day school among other things. Love, love, love these guys.)
- Project Rescue (David and Beth Grant provide a safe haven, a “home of hope” for victims of forced sexual slavery in India, and their children.)
There are literally THOUSANDS of awesome organizations out there that are having a direct impact on the lives of the oppressed. These are just a few.
And on to 2012 …
So what about 2012? What are my resolutions? Well, let me say first that I feel like the theme for 2012 is Haggai. In two short chapters (37 verses total), Haggai takes the children of Israel to task over their behavior. The message: when you focused on yourself you ended up having less for yourself, but if you focus on God you will find yourself better off. It is the same message as Matthew 6:33, Proverbs 11:24-25, and Luke 6:38 among others.
It’s also the same theme as is found in Days of Thunder, the 1990 Tom Cruise film about NASCAR racing. In the film Robert Duvall, the crew chief, puts Cruise (the driver) through his paces and shows him that by driving slower and more controlled he can actually cut his time down. Essentially saving ware on the tires and having faster laps later in the cycle.
I’m not sure exactly how to translate that into a “resolution” so to speak, other than to say that individually, and we as a nation, probably ought to shift focus a bit this year. That slowing down and addressing the important things probably leads to better results in the things we’re worried about anyway.
Naturally I have personal goals, and goals for blogging. I’ll only tell you the latter (though the former likely involves painting the basement). I think the 250 mark for posts was fine last year. In fact, I’d be OK with 200-250 again this year as long as the quality is good. For page views, well, I tend to be aggressive. I liked the 50% growth last year, but I’d like to see that again and more this year. I may have to cast about to find some viewers. (You can help by sharing a link if you find one of our articles useful.)
And what of the world? Well I obviously hope that Ron Paul does well in the Republican nominating process. Even if he doesn’t win, the longer he stays in and the more noise he creates the better it will be for the country.
I suspect the European crisis will escalate dramatically. I also suspect this will result in a massive transfer of wealth from working people in America to over-paid public employees and politicians in Europe. Why? Because the Fed will come to the conclusion that the alternatives are just too painful to consider. (That’s right, having banks actually take a hit for foolish loans they made is a bridge too far.) Who knows what other economic calamities are out there – I tend to be a pessimist when I look at the current system.
I won’t make any predictions about the 2012 elections – other than that things are far from decided and the game can change a lot between now and election day. These elections are “the most important of our lifetime” by definition, they’re the ones that matter now.
All the rest involve my wife and kids and family … I won’t bore you with those.
I hope your 2011 worked out well for you, and that your 2012 will be even better. I hope your resolutions, the things that you really want to accomplish this year (and have perhaps wanted to for a long time) will find new focus in your mind’s eye. I’ll also pass along a quote I saw just the other day that I think is very relevant at resolution time: “think huge – medium and small have lots of competition.”