We hope you all enjoyed the holidays. The New Year is underway and Essex is poised to celebrate its 250th birthday. This is a great year to invest some of ourselves (our time, our talents and our ideas) in making our community the best it can be. Sometimes its hard to know where to start. We hope you will consider some of these New Years resolutions from the Harwood Institute.
- I will join a small, local effort. So many of us donate money, volunteer an hour, or sign a petition in times of need. In this New Year, join with others to address a local challenge where, together, you set goals, produce results, and celebrate your good efforts. When you work with others you show what’s possible.
- I will cross boundaries. The divisions in our communities make us feel people will never come together to get things done. In this New Year, go out and find one or two people who are different from yourself, and talk with them about their aspirations for their own lives and the community. When you do this you break down barriers and increase people’s confidence to step forward themselves.
- I will be a champion of the common good. Our common challenges require us to go beyond the endless push of instant gratification that shapes so much of what we do and think nowadays. In this New Year, ask yourself and others when talking about a tough challenge: What do we need for our common good, and not just our own good. Then you can help get things moving forward.
- I will be more open and humble in my conversations. In many discussions we somehow believe we alone know the right answer, and everyone else is wrong! In this New Year, stop yourself from going down this path again and engage in more give-and-take with others. Then you can help us all find better solutions.
As the Harwood Institute says, “Choosing to turn outward toward others in these ways will make a real difference in [our] community and in [our lives].” We look forward to hearing from you in the New Year.