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The X Files
Xavier Hermosillo is the President of, a national Crisis Communications, Marketing, and Management firm he founded 23 years ago. He is a former political chief of staff, an award-winning reporter and photographer, and a former radio talk show host and TV commentator in Los Angeles. He has co-founded two publicly-traded companies where he served as a member of the Board of Directors and as the Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications. He has also served as a Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission on police officer discipline cases, and holds degrees in Administration of Justice and Business and Communications. He can be reached at

Since it’s a new year, many of you are probably making resolutions. Don’t bother.

The annual ritual of making promises to yourself that you know you won’t keep is upon us and I would humbly suggest you take a different tact this year.

I am one of the usual guilty ones who schemes to lose weight in the New Year. The media LOVES to do stories on New Year’s resolutions like this. They are no-brainers. But the resolution ritual simply doesn’t work for the vast majority of people. Regular exercise becomes another victim to wishful thinking, as well as promises to change our personalities or our temper, or to get more organized in our personal life.

One common resolution for me, besides trying to lose weight, is to find more time to spend with my family and spend less time working. My success at this has been less than perfect but better than most other schemes into which I try to talk myself.

But in 2005, it is going to be different. Really! My decision has been validated by a number of recent events. First of all, I have my Staff Sergeant Air Force Son home for the New Year and I couldn’t be happier, prouder, or more thankful for that. His military career is over for now, as he hobbles around in a cast, recovering well from the surgery that doctors say will heal his shattered leg.

It started with a simple hairline fracture from trying to master amazing motorized vehicles like the military uses - bikes and dune buggies - the kind we see on our streets, in the deserts, or in the war in a far off land. Jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and landing hard a few thousand feet below doesn’t help a hairline fracture either. Throw in some more military hard work, chasing bad guys in caves and in the warring streets, add a few 27-mile-long treks in the desert sands of Iraq or the unforgiving mountains of Afghanistan, and you have a recipe for severe personal pain and a cast that makes getting dressed a real challenge.

It is also a recipe for significant worry on the part of us as parents and a reminder that life is too short and precious for any of us. War and its resulting casualties sharpen our desire to spend more time together as a family.

The second set of events that have validated my decision to spend more time on family involves some very public events. In looking back at 2004, the almost unfathomable murders of hundreds of children in Beslan, Russia in September by MUSLIM mercenaries posing as Chechnan thugs, forced all of us to see the pain and suffering of the parents upfront and too close, where even the 10,000 miles of distance between us didn’t help hide the horror. As they say in the world of tragedy, “no parent should outlive their child."

We also witnessed the pain and suffering of the family and friends of NFL-star-turned-Army-solider Pat Tillman who was killed in Afghanistan. Regardless of whether it was friendly fire or some other unexplained error, Pat Tillman’s parents know their son gave up a multi-million dollar career to proudly wear the uniform of the U.S. military because he was brought up to understand the meaning of true values. He died doing what he felt he had to do: stand up as an American and help bring freedom to millions in Afghanistan who yearned for it and deserved it.

The recent elections in which more than 10-million people established as free a government as one can have in that region is proof enough for me that Pat Tillman did the right thing for the right reason. In his fight to bring a brand of Democracy to the region, I consider him a member of MY family, both as an American, and as a father of an Air Force Staff Sergeant who worked the same mountains and caves of Afghanistan to make freedom possible. Pat Tillman was the same age as my Son, so I will always consider him part of my extended family. May he rest in Peace, as well as the other soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors who served overseas.

Freedom is not always perfect, as we should know from what we experience each day here at home. But it’s better than the repressive alternative and a great start to a better life for Afghanistan and the rest of the world.

Finally, the tsunami disaster in Southern Asia should give us all pause and force us to look around and see how lucky we really are. Having babies ripped from a mother’s arms, or losing a spouse or friend in the sudden torment of a tsunami makes us all wonder how we would feel or how we would react to such a life threatening event. The massive nature of this disaster, 12 countries ravaged across 6,000 miles of ocean, more than boggles the mind. I am still having a hard time processing what I see on TV.

>From my little Internet perch, this disaster was not only a defining moment for those involved directly or affected by it, but it should be a defining moment for all of us. It should remind us that we do not have TOTAL control over our destiny.

Please don’t misunderstand that as some religious overture, but rather, a pragmatic view that in our hustle and bustle world of living life in the fast lane, fast cars and fast women (or men), and jet-setting around the world, or the nightlife and the clubs in our own cities, we have a sense of invulnerability, of immortality.

I think it’s rather obvious that the folks sitting on the beach in their bikinis and trunks thought they were in control of life, sipping a drink or reading a book in paradise. Ensconced at the edge of the world, I suspect they had left all their cares behind at home. The last thing they expected was the tsunami that turned out to be the last thing they ever saw. No need for New Year’s resolutions on their part.

I have learned from those folks’ real life lessons and in 2005, my columns will be shorter, my focus will be sharper, and my family and I will be happier. That’s not a resolution, that’s a promise!