With a new year comes all those resolutions that most everyone tries on for a few weeks before reverting back to auto-pilot. Self-improvement almost always takes more effort than we are willing to sustain to overcome bad habits. I have a suggestion for an improvement that doesn’t require a gym membership nor will it leave you starving or craving your favorite things: This year, just try to be nicer.

It seems to me that in spite of the fact that people have it better than probably any time in history, people are also the most intolerant of fellow human beings. I remember learning about the lemmings in elementary school. Supposedly, lemming colonies started out quite peaceful and cooperative. But then, as the lemming numbers grew, there would be more fighting within the colony. This would increase to a tipping point when a large number of lemmings would leave the colony and walk until they got to a cliff and hurled themselves into the ocean as a sort of mass suicide. The veracity of this myth has been disproven by scientists, but that idea has remained, that a civil society can get to the point of being self-destructive.

Darren Pollok is the County Chair of the Libertarian Party of Guadalupe County.

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