Is it really a ‘Happy New Year’?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about it being a new year and all, but I’m so over hearing all the hubbub about resolutions and change and newness. I think it’s awesome to look to the beginning of a new year as something that brings hope and the possibility of a better day, but we shouldn’t be seeing time as the thing that makes our lives better. We should be the ones to bring about that change. People, not time.

Everybody is going on about how last year was so completely horrible, but I’ve realized that by saying last year was bad, we take the blame off of ourselves a little bit. If we generalize the entire year and just blame all our problems on the fact that it was a lousy twelve months for the whole world, it negates any responsibility that we, as people, have for the bad things that happened. Those were our choices. As humanity, we didn’t do a great job. And I realize that that is also a huge generalization, but if we don’t form some kind of belonging with one another, we’re never going to have a better year. If we don’t take ownership of the world’s problems and try to do something about them, we have no right to complain about things. 2016 in and of itself wasn’t awful. People were awful. Bad things happened because people made poor choices.

To be entirely honest, my year was pretty awesome. My brother got married. I got to come home and work at a summer camp that I love a lot. I spent most of the year living in Australia with some of my best friends. My squad was officially formed and that was potentially the best thing to happen this year. I watched all of The Vampire Diaries…Twice. And I moved back to Canada at the end of year and now I get to hangout with my family a lot more. So yeah, 2016 was awesome for me as an individual.

I realize that there are some pretty huge things happening globally that really suck, but, again, those are because of people decisions. The earth is warming up because some people have chosen not to do anything about it. There are wars because people are filled with hatred. People are starving to death because people have decided not to share the world’s resources equally because of money which is pretty much just paper. The thing is, just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that things are magically better. There is still war in Syria. There are still kids trapped in sex slavery in Thailand. There are still hungry homeless people in Canada. We can’t wash away last year’s problems with the number 2017 – that’s not how the world works.

As you start out this year with resolutions to lose weight or get married or whatever it is that you think is going to make the world a better place, think about how you can actually make this year better for a larger community than just yourself. Because let’s be real, the world isn’t going to change because you lost five pounds. But maybe if you decided to read some books about climate change or conflict resolution, you could actually do something that will affect more than just you. Take up a new hobby that helps people somehow – knit hats for homeless people, play checker with lonely people, or make some soup for hungry people. Find out ways you can give to your community – food banks, feeding programs, bingo nights, connect groups.

There are things that we can do to make the world a better place, we just have to actually do them instead of just trying to improve things in our own little bubbles. We can do so much more than lose a few pounds or read more books. We can bring home, we can build our communities, we can change things. People made bad choices in 2016, but we don’t have to do that this year.

My challenge to you is to find something that you can do for this entire year for someone else. That could be something as easy as going for coffee regularly or volunteering somewhere once a week. Or you could put your money where your mouth is and give throughout the year to a charity that you like – sponsor a child, help build homes, or feed a whole community. Your act can be as big or small as you like, but do SOMETHING for someone else this year…And you know, read more books. 😉


Also…Here’s a super cool video that I think relates to what I said.

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