New Year! As we kick off 2002 many, if not all of us, announce,
if only to ourselves, some sort of New Year's resolutions.
Traditionally, these resolutions are fairly ordinary in nature.
"I will lose weight." "I will get in shape." "I will stop
smoking." And so on.
heaven knows we can all stand some sort of self-improvement,
I question why, when we are making resolutions for a New Year
we can't resolve to do something to better the world as well?
I know we are all busy, busy people. I know we all have jobs
that require too much of our time. I know we have children
who have a school and extra-curricular activity schedule that
keeps them as busy as we are-thus making us even busier getting
to and fro. I know many of us have other commitments to clubs,
associations, etc. that keep us hopping as well. Yet, for
all this commitment we have, what are we really doing as individuals
to make Frederick, the U.S., our world a better place? How
many of us are willing to resolve to better ourselves in order
to better the world?
of us resolve to be nicer to people? That would go a great
distance to improving our quality of life. For example, wouldn't
it be nice if people resolved to be nicer to their fellow
Fredericktonian and thus, actually yielded to drivers as they
attempted to enter Rt. 15? In turn, wouldn't be nice if those
on Rt. 15 moved over to the left lane to let cars onto the
it be nice if we resolved to say "hello" to people we don't
know, just for the sake of being nice? Wouldn't it be nicer
if we didn't think of ourselves as being numero uno and consider
that we are all bound together on this great big orb of Earth?
Why, when some encounter people in a wheelchair, for instance,
do they treat the wheelchair-bound person as an impediment
to their forward progress in the mall instead of a person?
Where the heck do any of us really need to be in such a hurry
that we only see our getting there as the most important thing
in life? And, wouldn't it be nice if our elected officials
were in it not to improve and protect their political standing,
but to protect and improve our quality of life?
of us resolve to do something to improve the life of someone
less fortunate? Okay. We can donate money through our charities
and our churches-which is all well and good. But, don't you
think it may be a wonderfully humbling experience to volunteer
at the soup kitchen? Are we willing to donate our time at
a food bank? How many of us would volunteer to help "Habitat
for Humanity" build someone a home? Why don't we volunteer
to visit folks at nursing homes? How many of us are willing
to get ourselves dirty by learning about the misfortunes of
others from those who experienced them, in order to help prevent
them from happening to someone else?
it is easier to give of our money then of ourselves, but,
in the long run, think of Mister Scrooge. Why can't we keep
in mind the adage, "there but for the grace of God go I?"
of us resolve to "judge not lest we be judged?" We are a nation
at war. For a while after the dastardly attacks on America,
it seemed as if we were willing to look beyond our differences
and focus on our commonality as Americans. Yet, I guess that
unfortunately it is easier to define ourselves as to what
makes us different than as to what makes us alike. It seems
the original sins of distrust and hate can so easily overwhelm
our ability to trust and to love.
who watches the news sees that war coverage is giving way
to the upcoming budget battles and divisive rhetoric is heating
up. The framework of this debate will be, not what can we
do to help others, but to condemn many who have had economic
misfortune. Then, we must decide whose "welfare" gets cut
in the budget process, people's or industry's? During the
holiday season its sad that we were back to cocktail party
discussions that were loaded with "us" versus "them" as we
talked about the direction the country is headed. Does anyone
really know what side of "us" versus "them" they are on?
move into an election year where Alex Mooney is running for
re-election, primarily on the backs of those who are different
from him-we have to expect that his type of mean-spirited
"judgment-based" rhetoric will cloud the political landscape
instead of a true focus on what can be done to help solve
problems. Why is it some can't look at our commonality to
promote ideas and policies that will help and do good, instead
of focusing on our differences in order to promote ideas and
policies that are mean, judgmental and bad?
is a quote used in an advertising campaign for national volunteerism
that is poignant:
you are not required to offer food to the hungry or shelter
to the homeless. There is no ordinance forcing you to visit
the lonely or comfort the infirm. Nowhere in the Constitution
does it say you have to provide clothing for the poor. In
fact, one of the nicest things about living here in America
is that you really don't have to do anything for anybody."