New Year's Resolutions: for those that really want to make this world a better place for ALL of us.
Making New Year's Resolutions is a popular topic on the Internet. Many of them seem to be very self-centered, or "Me oriented." I have a few suggestions that are "WE oriented." If put into practice you will find that you benefit as much as the others.
I wrote an essay a few years back about The Power of WE. Basically, this essay says that alone we can't accomplish much but when we set aside our differences to work for the common good we can accomplish great things.
1. Try to be honest with self and others.
This means ignoring “fake news” on social media sites and elsewhere (tabloid papers, tabloid TV, talk show programs, biased and irresponsible news programs). Check for accuracy before you spread fake news around.
This means looking for and reading information that disagrees with your preconceived opinions, so you can be informed about the issues from several different viewpoints. There is no excuse for self-imposed ignorance or continuing to spread outright lies and misinformation in this day and age.
2. Pledge to become pro-active rather than just being a complainer.
Get involved in your community. Stop waiting for the government to solve our problems.
Volunteer your time to local organizations, like habitat for humanity, food banks, homeless shelters, youth projects, historical societies, community garden and beautification projects. Volunteer or help organize cleanup days -- cleanup local parks, vacant lots, local rivers and forest areas.
Educate yourself about the issues, local and national and VOTE. Work for Help Get Out the Vote(GOTV) campaigns in your community. Vote yourself, and volunteer to drive someone to the polls. President Trump won because many stayed away from the polls, thinking their vote didn’t matter. Each VOTE does matter.
We know why kids join gangs, and why some join extremist and terrorist groups. We need to invest in our youth. This means helping them get involved in music programs (instrumental and choral); dance, gymnastics, and martial arts programs, sports programs, science and history projects. These teach self-discipline, self-control, methods of working with others, etc. Kids want to feel that they belong and are a part of something important. So volunteer your time, support (or organize) school and community programs that give kids opportunities to grow and develop their social skills and personal talents.
3. Pledge to say a friendly word or do an act of kindness every single day.
If you are healthy, don’t park in handicap parking spots or the closest spot to the store front. Park a few spaces further away so those who aren’t as healthy as you can have easier access. Return your shopping cart to the cart corral at the grocery or super store. Don’t litter. Say "thank you" to waitresses and checkout clerks. Smile at someone rather than looking the other way. Hold the door open for someone. Sometimes the smallest, simplest gestures can make a BIG difference.
4. Pledge to slow down.
Take time to not only smell the flowers, but to see the flowers and the trees, the sidewalks, streets, houses and people where you live.
Take time to listen to family and friends and neighbors and store clerks and anyone else you meet.
Slow down when you drive, and please don’t drive distracted. Your life is worth more than the few minutes you might save by speeding or multi-tasking while driving.
5. Pledge to set aside your cell phone, or tablet, and to to turn off the computer and the TV for certain periods of time each and every day.
Start with 15 minutes a day, then move to half an hour a day, then an hour a day. Can you go a whole day without checking your social media page, or texting, or playing a video game, or surfing the web?
Have a Happy New Year and let’s all do whatever we can wherever we live to make this world a better place for ALL of us.