Old habits die hard

By Alex P. Vidal

“Humans are creatures of habit. If you quit when things get tough, it gets that much easier to quit the next time. On the other hand, if you force yourself to push through it, the grit begins to grow in you.”—Travis Bradberry

FOR a change, we will refrain from making New Year’s resolutions or wishes because, in the past, we hadn’t completely done or refused to actually obey and implement them.

In truth and reality, we have been mentally inutile to translate the change or changes we wanted to introduce for the coming year; we had no intention of totally discarding yesterday for a brand new tomorrow.

As a habit, we never wholly and radically practiced what we had preached.

We wanted to change yes, but when a new year came, our hold habits returned; they resurfaced and swung back and forth like a pendulum.

What happened was a familiar and constant repeat of the things we did in the past; it’s actually difficult to change the human heart and mind.

The longer we do something, the more ingrained it becomes, and the harder it is to change. It’s otherwise known as “old habits die hard.”

We wanted to get rid of bad leaders, but each election year we elected those who should have been in the mental asylum and kindergarten classrooms.


We wanted to have a better economy, but each time we were given the opportunity to select quality leaders, we elected the thieves and ignoramuses in economic and financial matters.

We wanted to have a good environment, but each election year, we chose the rapacious, the rapists and parasites of our natural resources, the mercenaries and saboteurs of our endowments and wealth.

We wanted to invest in goodness and kindness, but we do and think evil things and activities; and we cavort with the devil. We become morally bankrupt.

All we can do now is to hope and, perhaps, pray for the best in 2022.

At least hoping can help us manage stress and anxiety and cope with adversity.

Hoping and praying can contribute to our well-being and happiness and motivate positive action.

Hopeful people like us believe we can influence our goals, that our efforts can have a positive impact.


AS we close out the year 2021 with COVID-19 cases increasing around the globe anew for the second consecutive year, the news cycle definitely shows no signs of slowing down.

The pandemic that destroyed many lives and slowed us all down in 2020 is still not over, with the Delta–and now Omicron– variants in the headlines, despite a successful vaccine rollout in many countries.

As of this writing, the United States has hit a seven-day average of 265,427 new COVID-19 cases, blowing past the country’s previous record of about 252,000 daily cases, reported nearly a year ago on January 11.

According to the Johns Hopkins University data, the new peak comes amid a rapid acceleration of infections in the US and across the world  since last November 2021.

And experts predict the Omicron variant–the most contagious strain of coronavirus yet–is going to make the start of 2022 very difficult, according to Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, as reported by CNN.

Jha declared: “January is going to be a really, really hard month. And people should just brace themselves for a month where lots of people are going to get infected.”

Other news dispatched around the world in 2021 were the Taliban retaking control of Afghanistan, leading to a mass evacuation of civilians by the international community. Media platforms officially banned recalcitrant former President Donald Trump following the inauguration of Joseph “Joe” Biden as the 46th president of the United States. In entertainment, Britney Spears was freed from her conservatorship; world’s richest man Jeff Bezos and fellow billionaire Richard Branson went to space; according to the New York Post, “the Biden administration’s COVID-19 incompetence, hypocrisy and fact-spinning are only making things worse.”


NEW RULE FOR SPOTTING SKIN CANCER. Size matters less than we think when it comes to better skin cancer detection. Current guidelines used to detect abnormal moles stipulate that people should look for moles only greater than 6 mm, or larger than a pencil eraser. “But size is increasingly arbitrary and irrelevant,” says researcher Stuart Goldsmith, MD.

WHERE ARE OUR ANTIOXIDANTS HIDING? Some are in plain sight–blueberries, red wine, and pomegranate juice–but these powerful disease fighters are also turning up in some surprising places.

LET’S NOT FORGET OUR MEDS. Patients who bring their own medications with them to the hospital are half as likely to experience drug-related medical errors as people who forget them, a recent Australian study found. LG said the most common mistake: People didn’t get necessary meds, like blood thinners and insulin, for preexisting health conditions.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)