Thursday, 1 May 2014

On Good Resolutions Robert Lynd

Write an essay of 300 words: “In spite of half a life time of failure, we can still draw upon her (Nature) for these (good resolutions) with the excitement of faith in our hearts”. How far is this statement by Robert Lynd true of good resolutions that we make.
Robert Lynd is one of the greatest of the essayists in English literature. His essays are called “familiar essay”, because they are filled with his personal anecdotes, broad sympathies, gentle humour, elegant style and gifted fluency. His present essay “On Good Resolutions” also reflects these qualities.
 Every New Year people take a lot of good resolutions and seldom put them into practice. If a man wants to reform his life with good resolutions, his neighbours and friends may discourage him by saying that “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”.   
Robert Lynd lists three kinds of resolutions. They are fairly easy, difficult and most difficult. Most people take the most difficult resolutions which Lynd calls the Himalayan resolutions such as getting up early in the morning to do exercises or winning the trophy for the school football team. These good resolutions are like day dreams and cannot be fulfilled. Common man cannot change his habit of getting up late and the boy has never played football! However Robert Lynd says that good resolutions are very delightful form of morality and we must encourage people to take more and more good resolutions because this world is lack of moral qualities. Good resolutions are golden anticipations of the day’s work, fresh and untarnished and full of song.
 But some people take resolutions which are so silly and very easy to put into practice in one’s life. These resolutions are contemptible and to be rejected. For example going to bed before midnight, getting up before noon, giving up tobacco etc. are some of the good resolutions. But even these resolutions are put into practice only from tomorrow or next New Year or next month. So there is a great comfort to be got out of the thought that tomorrow and next New Year will never come! Robert Lynd says that good resolutions are the intelligent anticipation of events which do not take place. They are the April of virtue with no September following.
 If we put into effect a good resolution once in a blue moon, it gives us thrill and joy because of its novelty. For example you decide to get up early morning, the first day you will get great joy and thrill because of the freshness and silent beauty of the morning. You have never seen this beauty of morning before. But if you continue to do it, the thrill and joy will be worn out and only the habit is left. Any good decision if you do seldom enough is an intoxicating experience and you get great joy out of it. In this context, Lynd quotes the story of the prodigal son in the Bible and says that when the prodigal son came back home a grand reception was given to him by his father and even killed a fatted calf. But the following day he was not given such grand dinner. Similarly if we do any good thing, for the first day or two we will get thrill and joy and after that it becomes a dull habit.
 But some other resolutions cannot be put into practice even for a day. For example learning grammar of a new language or doing exercise with the help of mechanical apparatus. We shall be satisfied with buying a book on health or grammar and keep them in the shelf. Robert Lynd says that human being is a slave of old habits and he needs a mighty will on the heroic scale to change his old habits. It means he must sacrifice or throw away some of his old habits and pleasures.  He wants to be reformed and perfect in his character. He wants to throw away his ugly dead habits, but he cannot. However there is some instinct of perfection in him which forces him to take good resolutions every New Year.
 According to Robert Lynd, the characteristics of good resolutions are that man has a strong belief in the possibility of performing miracles. This is why common man always takes good resolutions on the expectation that on the first or second day itself he can perform a miracle but he doesn’t get it and disappointed. Lack of will power is the cause of his failure. Again next New Year he will take a number of good resolutions and try to put them into effect but again and again fails. In spite of these repeated failures he continues to take good resolutions every New Year. This is because there is some instinct for perfection in every human being which forces us to go forward. One day we shall get the mighty will on the heroic scale to put into practice all our good resolutions.
Dear students, read this note carefully and prepare your own answers to the questions given in the last page of the lesson.



  1. this notes is really useful for me tq each and every sentences are really inspiring. tq so much for this notes.

  2. Well framed essay... easy to read... thank you