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  • Jered Stewart

Taking Action for Change

Happy New Year! 2017 was quite a year in many ways. Filled with successes and failures, one could think it was a terrible year, or a fantastic year, but either way, it’s over. Onward we go. Time stops for no one.

Recently I’ve been thinking about things that I can get better at in the year to come. I need to be careful however, because if I think about this for too long the list becomes too long. And the purpose is to not feel defeated before you start. But as I’ve thought of this, I am reminded that there is a difference between taking action and just hoping for the best. I’ve heard people say things like, “I’m hoping for more peace in the year to come,” and “This past year was challenging, I’m hoping we can all get along more in the future.” These statements certainly can be true, but will we see the change we desire? Will there be more peace? Will we all get along better this year? Is hope, all by itself, enough?

Someone once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. This makes me think that if we just hope for things to change, if we hope for the best, but we don’t do anything to improve the situation, then things won’t really change. Without effort, goals, and participation, it’s unlikely we’ll see the results we want.

If we really want change, then we actually need to do something. I think a simple starting point would be to begin with respect. If you watch 10 minutes of cable news or spend 5 minutes on Facebook you will find hate and anger and insults between strangers that will make your heart hurt and your head ache. Civility has been lost. Some say, “Respect must be earned, but you must give it to me first!” Name calling, insults, personal attacks, character assassination. It’s pretty ugly out there. Can we start by giving each other the respect we all deserve? Can we be friendly and kind to strangers, and to those we know, as well? Sometimes it’s our family, friends, and neighbors who we treat the worst. Can we have a short memory and not keep a list of wrongs? I sure hope so, but more than that, I am planning to work on this, to take action, to be thoughtful of my words, to be considerate, and to respect others. Will you join me? Will you consider taking action to achieve the change that you want to see in the world? I hope you will. And I believe that the simple act of respect is a great place to start. Best wishes for a happy new year filled with respect for others, and for yourself.

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.”

Laurence Sterne

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