Traditionally, New Year Resolutions are about making a commitment to do something different in our lives, perhaps going in a new direction from that of the past. I’m sharing my resolutions...you’re welcome to adopt a few as your own.
In 2023 I resolve to ....
• To appreciate my family, friends, and colleagues for who they are, and what they mean to me and others, and to gracefully overlook some things they do (or don’t do!). None of us is perfect and accepting that reality helps relationships flourish.
• To act upon wrongs that need righting, to reject hateful offenses and crass statements that demand direct responses. We set a positive example to our children and loved ones by not accepting negativity in others.
• To reject the politics of division and derision and support leaders who honor their oaths of office by practicing principles of inclusive community, unification and justice.
• To be a valuable teammate and to trust others to do their best. Each of us should know what position we play, and regularly practice our skills to be our personal best.
• To create opportunities to actively listen to the voices of children and elders. Accepting the multi-generational wisdom of innocence and experience is both free and priceless.
• To accept that I will never know everything. By collaborating with others who know much more, together we can create great brain trust and blend expertise to make progress together.
• To pleasantly surprise someone every day with a genuine smile and unexpected kindness in word and deed. Life’s subtle gifts of compassion and concern are cherished and create valuable feelings of appreciation.
• To respect and celebrate the diversity of faiths and ethnic heritage. Differences are natural and honoring each others’ perspectives creates mutual admiration.
• To exercise artistic expression for its intrinsic value. The vitality of the musical, literary, dance, visual and vocal arts fuels the soul and expands the mind to new possibilities.
• To invest a thoughtful minute before I speak or act. Regret is often preventable. Reversing harm is one of life’s most vexing challenges.
• To honor those who courageously defend us at home and abroad, care for our health, and educate and protect us so that our quality of life is improved.
• To follow the counsel of public health leaders to protect me from exposure to the COVID virus, the flu, and other communicable diseases. Prevention is indeed the best medicine.
• To share even if I think I don’t have enough. Setting an example by giving to others in need is one of the best lessons for children to observe.
• To protect, defend and advocate for people who rely on me. Let’s give special attention to the needs of others at every stage of life who may not know how to find their own voice.
• To preserve natural environments for their beauty and bounty. Natural settings are home to plant life and species which are too often victims of our wants, not our needs.
• To never give up on a person or a cause, despite the challenges we face. Perseverance is an attitude that exemplifies leadership, attracts allies, and creates meaningful change.
• To speak truth to power, but to be both polite and persistent. There’s a fine line between persistence and pestilence. Resist aggressiveness, but advocate with assertion, confidence and commitment to the cause. Advocating for prevention policies and programs that keep bad things from happening is the most important of all investments.
Jack Levine, founder of the 4Generations Institute, is a family policy advocate, based in Tallahassee. He may be reached at email@example.com.