New Year Resolutions are a purely western tradition, but we might use it here in Georgia too if we could think of some useful ones to make that wouldn’t take too much sweat to keep up. As a matter of fact, there is nothing special about the New Year in the United States, except that a new calendar year starts, and Americans tend to make fresh resolutions at the beginning of the New Year. Those resolutions could be of any wording and content, but it is a must that they contain a certain desire and potential to improve one’s lifestyle, anything along the lines of “listen more, talk less,” “go to sleep with kind thoughts,” “try to treat people well on social media,” “don’t keep grudges,” “work out twice a week,” “read a book a fortnight,” “lose weight,” “drink water regularly,” “cut out alcohol,” “stop smoking,”, etc. Such resolutions are made by regular individuals, but the resolutions made by a nation should probably be more solid and should certainly be more impressive.
If Georgia wants to embark on better social and economic practices than it did last year, it has to change the unfavorable political measures into more effective ones. For this, the nation should make the following resolutions and do its possible best to live up to their undelayed fulfillment without failure: get the failing demography up and going so much that by the end of the year, Georgia’s population is a minimum five million people; give its boys and girls the kind of education that easily translates into wellbeing, and do this by mobilizing the crème de la crème of the nation into the army of productive teachers; bring the annual economic growth up to 10%, and let it directly reflect on the lifestyle of our workforce and their families, seeing them starting to believe that the high labor productivity is not a utopia in this country; arrest prices on food, medication and utilities, and if they can’t be curbed, let at least the wages keep up with runaway costs; handle inflation not by putting additional boosting funds into the money market, but by making new internationally sellable products; overcome the remaining poverty by creating new jobs and retraining the personnel accordingly, thus giving another chance to people who fell out of the labor market due to the absence of relevant qualifications; give impetus to tourism by refreshing the old infrastructure and building new, as well as constructing better roads and using local talent and hosting capacities; create conditions for banks to let them serve people with lower interest rates and higher-quality banking products; find a way to get rid of the irksome political polarization that is universally killing the opportunity to build mutually beneficial cooperation between the opposing parties; handle the future membership in NATO and the EU so masterfully that Russia desists eyeing Georgia’s national borders and whetting her appetite to gobble us up; talk to Russia in a way which excludes arrogance on the one hand and obsequiousness on the other, the discourse being conducive to reinstating our temporarily forfeited lands in peace and good faith; go to mills and factories to work in lieu of all kinds of parades, manifestations and demonstrations; eradicate criminal activity so much that the good citizens of Georgia relax and feel free to leave their cars and houses unlocked without being afraid of high-jacking and burglary; introduce a strict and lawful architectural planning of our big cities, thus keeping our beautiful landscape from hideous views; learn how to keep the streets clean from animal droppings and other litter so that our niche in the western family of nations becomes more natural and, consequently, accessible; stop abusing each other as vehemently as we do over social media; be proud of the ancient Georgian culture and the heroic national past, but look forward into the future as well, being conscious that retrospect is good but prospect is even better; learn English, but remember that keeping up the purity and respectful practicability of our own Kartuli is no less important.
Bring all these resolutions to life, and Christmas will feel merrier and the New Year happier.
Op-Ed by Nugzar B. Ruhadze