There’s something about the start of a new year that inspires us. There’s an innate sense that tells us it’s a new beginning, a chance to continue the forward motion towards a better reality. Most of us know the world can be a better place. In no particular order, here are four things we can all do to help make the world better in the New Year.
Encourage Public Servants
The world is a better place because people choose a career in public service. They are men and women who are elected politicians; civil servants working for municipal, provincial, or federal governments; first responders; teachers; or any person who works as part of the large infrastructure that keeps things going. Take the time to say thank you, good job, well done, I appreciate your service. Write a thank you note, or send a shout out on social media.
A strong sense of community helps make the world a better place. When we feel united we tend to care more about others. Find ways to engage in community. Volunteer locally. It’s as simple as googling volunteer and the name of the city or town you live in. Something will come up. Or ask someone if they know a good place where you can volunteer. Get out there. Volunteer at a Home for Seniors as a visitor, or help out at a local food bank. Volunteerism is the backbone of our culture. Be part of it.
Treat Everyone with Respect
The world is filled with too much indifference, hate and violence. Much of it arises from a society that doesn’t seem to have a good foundation of respect for others. Whether it’s a person who holds a different political or religious view than your own, a person who is from a different culture, your boss, your employee, a colleague, your student, your teacher, a fellow student, your spouse, your child, your parent, an elder, a youth, or someone very much like you, make sure that you do your best to respect each individual person you interact with.
Diversity is a beautiful part of who we are as human beings. It makes life so much more interesting.
We all know that there are many injustices in our world. Our environment is at risk, women and children are the victims of violence, racism continues, homelessness and poverty aren’t addressed as they should be, and gender inequalities continues, to name just a few.
As Martin Luther King Jr once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
However, that bend doesn’t happen haphazardly. It bends that way because people have been fighting against injustices for as long as injustices have existed. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like much progress is being made, or perhaps that the effort isn’t worth it.
What we do to fight all injustices matters.
It’s the right thing to do.
To stand by and do nothing only contributes to the injustice.
Sign a petition, start one. Volunteer for a cause you believe in. Start one. Use social media for good by encouraging advocates. Retweet them.
Become an advocate.
Hold your local, provincial, and federal politicians accountable.
I’m under no impression that my short piece will change the world. But I’m not writing it because it will. I’m writing it because it’s the right thing for me to do.
Peace and Happy New Year!