I don’t usually declare New Year’s Resolutions. I think, why bother? I won’t make it past January honoring them. You know what I’m talking about – the eat healthy, lose twenty pounds, organize all of your pictures, keep your house clean type. However, on New Year’s Day, I was watching the Parade of Roses and it occurred to me there is a resolution I could make. A resolution that, if I was going to be a stand-up person, I would keep.
Typically resolutions are all about “us”. What are we going to do to improve ourselves, our lives? We will lose weight, eat broccoli, and exercise, etc. How often have you heard someone say they were going to improve someone else’s life this year? I didn’t think so. Maybe we could change that format. At least, maybe I could change it. This where the Parade of Roses comes into play.
The theme of the parade was “Make a Difference”, and it made me think. What was I doing here if I wasn’t going to make a difference? Now, I don’t want to lose you here so stick with me, it’s really not that deep. The thought was simple; I should be able to do something that will make a difference in someone’s life this year. It could be a small thing. It could be a big thing, but you never know what impact you might have on someone’s life by taking one small step to improve it. Your small step could set off a chain of small steps that evolves into an explosion of small steps that positively impact the life you intended to improve, and many more. So I think we don’t worry about the size of the step and believe in this positive chain reaction.
So, what am I going to do? What resolution can I make that will survive past January 30, 2018? If you join me, what can you do? Here’s what helped me decide, and it may help you.
- It had to be something where I knew I could make a difference. Some previously established need to fill.
- It had to be something I was physically and mentally able to do or had a talent for doing.
- It had to be something I’ve recognized as being in my heart and mind.
Let’s take the first item on the list. I don’t have to start up anything new when there is already so much need to recognize. Think of it as selecting a dog from the humane society or pet adoption organization rather than buying one from a puppy mill. If I intended to help someone, I felt the biggest impact I could make would be by responding to an already recognizable need. Children are starving, soldiers are away from their families, and pets need homes, and so on. You get it.
The second item is fairly self-explanatory. It will defeat the resolution if we pick something that’s going to exhaust, overwhelm, or throw us into despair because we can’t do it. On the other hand, we all have some innate talent, a God-given skill perhaps, that shouldn’t be overlooked. I can write, Pam and Kathy can knit, DeAnna can sing, and Annette is a photographer and holistic healer. We might choose to do something outside of this talent because, for some, the talent is used in our work. We might use the talent because it’s something that we can easily do to make someone else’s life easier. Just think about how you want to fill the need in someone else’s life and go with it.
Of the three items, that last one is most significant to me. As I’m watching the parade –well, okay, I was only intermittently tuning in to what was going on, I don’t actually watch parades much—something popped into my mind immediately. It’s something that I’d done a little bit of in the past with a church group and often thought about doing it on my own. The time has come. I have a soft place in my heart for our soldiers overseas. They are away from their families, away from creature comforts that we might take for granted every day. I can do something with this. There are organizations and websites that list what a soldier could use and where to send it. I’m sure of it. I haven’t researched it yet, but I’m going to. This weekend, in fact.
So here it is. I have a new year’s resolution. I’m going to send packages of useful items to soldiers in need. It’s an established need, it’s something I’m able to do, and it’s been in my heart.
Will you join me in making a resolution that focuses on someone else? What would you like to do this year to make a difference? I’d love it if you left me a comment. Tell me your thoughts on this plan!