It’s that time of year again. The time of year that personal trainers and diet gurus love the most. The time of year when everyone makes a resolution to eat better, exercise more, go to church or synagogue more often, spend more time with the kids, etc. It’s interesting how our society has come to accept the New Year as a time to reassess our own lives.
I think it’s good to sit back and review your own life. However, as the author Dean Koontz once said “change isn’t easy. Changing the way you live means changing the way you think, means changing what you believe about life. That’s hard.”
So let me propose a simple change. Take five minutes each day for the next month to think about the challenges facing people in need in our community. Just sit at your desk or your kitchen table over a cup of coffee and spend some time thinking about someone less fortunate.
Maybe you could consider what it might be like to lose your home and have to find shelter. Perhaps you can take the five minutes to worry about the battered woman in our community who is living in fear (both for herself and her family), or you could think about the teenager whose view of the future is so bleak that he/she is considering suicide.
Whatever it is, take a few minutes to think about someone who faces an obstacle that is entirely foreign to you. The sources for stories of this kind are easy to find. Read your local paper every day. Go to the websites of the non-profit organizations in your community or watch your local news.
Here’s what I can promise you. Taking those five minutes will do two things. First, it will begin to change the way you think about your own life. Second, it will make you want to do something. Give in to that feeling.
Give to your favorite charity, advocate on behalf of a person or organization, or volunteer your time to do something that helps another and makes you proud.