Sunday is New Year's Eve, but it seems like only yesterday we were saying goodbye to 2016 and hopeful for a new vibe for 2017. Instead, 2017 seems to have continued to be a constant battle of “You’re either with me, or against me,” at least if you pay attention to social media or three quarters of the news.
Switch it off
However, there is obviously much more to life than what pops up on little or big screens — and if there isn’t, that is the definition a resolution we need to make. So many of us are addicted to a 24-hour feed of technology, as are our children. We need to make a resolution to switch it off for an hour — a day — maybe even a weekend or a week. Look at each other’s faces without thinking “ I need to tag her” immediately after.
As the year comes to an end, another thing to consider is supporting your favorite non-profits in town. Financial times can be hard for all of us, and generosity to a variety of causes is to be applauded. But it is important to remember those that make your day-to-day life a better place. Some of them do so quietly without much fanfare. Some have a bigger social media and people network for outreach use. But all of them are important contributors to where we live.
Annual appeals for these nonprofits are important, so if you choose to give, try to do so before Dec. 31. These budgets help non-profits plan what they can and can’t do for the upcoming year.
Places like the Darien Historical Society, the Darien Arts Center, The Depot Youth Center, the Darien YMCA, the YWCA Darien/Norwalk, the Community Fund of Darien, Person-to-Person and Tiny Miracles, among many others, need your help. They enrich all of our lives in a variety of ways.
If you haven’t adopted a local non-profit, make that another resolution.
My fifth grade daughter came home from school with a flyer recently that reminds us to hink before we speak (or type, or comment). Is it true? Helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Not a bad test for any of us — ages 10 to 110.
Leave it better than you found it
The motto of the National Parks Service, founded by Darien’s own Stephen Tyng Mather, for its trails and campsites, is a good approach to life. Resolving to not rush to judgment. Resolving to try to understand where someone else is coming from, to understand the path they have taken that we have not.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb in his skin and walk around in it,” as Atticus Finch said in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Let’s resolve to assume the best in each other and hope that all of us have the most positive motivations — while maintaining an inquisitive mind.
Most importantly, if we haven’t already, let’s resolve to eliminate the word hate and the emotion hatred from our lives in 2018.
We cannot change the world. We can only change our contribution to it.
Let’s make our number one New Year’s resolution to make that contribution an overwhelmingly positive one.