Tis the season for New Year's Resolutions.
Year after year, the same resolutions lead the pack. The #1 resolution among Americans is to lose weight. This makes sense since we have one of the highest obesity rates in the world. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7 percent) and approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years are obese.
Saving money, exercising more and quitting smoking are among the other usual suspects in most top 10 lists.
This is also the season for holiday cards and holiday wishes. We share these messages with photos of our families in snail mail or email, over the phone and in casual exchanges with strangers. Happy New Year! Wishing you peace & happiness in the New Year! Joy to the world! The list of salutations goes on. Oftentimes, these phrases, born out of years of customary exchange and tradition, seem to automatically slip off of our tongues without much thought.
New Year's resolutions. New Year's wishes. Do you notice what I am noticing here? There seems to be a bit of a disconnect or gap between what we wish for and what we resolve to achieve through our resolutions.
Few people resolve to make these wishes of peace on earth come true through their yearly goals. Goals like peace and joy to the world remain something that some external forces have the responsibility to take care of for us.
Yes, history keeps repeating itself. Peace remains impossible. At home and abroad, violence and unrest pervades. Where am I going with this?
If one person has the power for vast destruction as we have seen all too clearly in recent tragic events, doesn't one person also have the power for vast good? In fact, don't we all? If one person can take it under his own responsibility to destroy life, can't more of us take responsibility for uplifting life?
There are some resolutions that consistently do not appear on the list. Let's try reaching for some of these "missing ones" in 2013.
1) Work for peace in my community and across the world;
2) Instill strong values in my children and my community like mutual respect, understanding, and support for others;
3) Give of myself as a volunteer within my own community and around the world.
Just imagine the world that we could create if we all committed to doing everything in our power to change the world? Isn't it only natural that we aren't achieving what we wish for -- peace on earth, if we aren't resolving to achieve it? No matter how small, each and every one of us has the power to make a difference. As Ryunosuke Satoro once said, "Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean."
This year and for the years that follow: Resolve to change the world. If we don't resolve to change it for the better; there are surely those among us who will change it for the worse.