It’s a word often used at the head of a year. As with many interesting words, it has meanings that overlap and inform each other.
We use it for firmness of purpose, as in New Year’s resolutions. We use it for fineness of detail in an image, as in the resolving power of a telescope, a microscope, a camera. We use it for the passing of discord into harmony in music. We use it for turning disputes and contention into peace. The word contains all this. Can we use our firmness of purpose to look not at the surface of our situation, but deep into its substance to see what it’s made of? Will what it’s made of help us turn its discord and contention into harmony and peace? That’s hard to see, and hard to do. It’s much easier to see the meaningless structures that stand in the way, obscuring the heart of the thing. It took thousands of years of the sun appearing to rise and set – as we still say it does – before we recognized that wasn’t the truth at all. We say that we hold to our beliefs, when often it’s the beliefs that have a grip on us.
2020 was a year very much in need of resolution, in all the facets of that word. We didn’t get there. Let’s try again for 2021.