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By S. Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican

A look back and new resolve

The New Year is a time when people look at their past year’s resolutions and how they were carried out. They may also think about resolutions for the year to come that would be helpful in improving some aspect of their lives, their community, or their world.

Build your life on a spiritual base

The evening news highlights stories of ongoing wars, violence, abuse and neglect. Millions of people, including young children are dying of hunger, disease and abandonment.  To address these problems, each one of us can be part of the solution and work to create a world more in line with God’s design. We all have the divine power available to us that will enable us to make a difference wherever we are, and to look beyond the problems to the possibilities. We can build bridges in lieu of walls that divide people. We also need hope that another world is indeed possible, and to share that hope with others. To accomplish this and to experience the power of God at work within us and among us, we must build our lives and efforts on a spiritual base.

Where do we begin?

  1. Give thanks: Let the New Year gently move in and touch us like a gracious gift from giver to receiver, and give thanks for all the benefits that surround us and are always available to each of us. Start each day with a grateful heart.
  2. Get involved: Look around and see and hear about all those numbed by pain, often waiting powerlessly in despair, for a helping hand to reach out to them. Find groups whose goal is to help the hungry, the jobless, the sick and elderly who are lonely and often neglected. Look for ways to get involved and help in whatever way is feasible. Be a sign of hope for them.
  3. Remove barriers: Look at our political and economic system and evaluate the walls and barriers that need to be removed. Speak truth to power and challenge unjust systems and structures wherever they are found. Join with others for a more effective response.
  4. Open your ears - and heart: Engage the wisdom of the elders who can offer their perspective and help in whatever way they are able. Join with people of other cultures who are struggling for survival and seeking a life of purpose, hope and meaning. Youth must also be included. They will have an important part to play in shaping the future for all. We must approach the youth as people who have gifts and ideas to offer.  We must help them find ways to use their gifts for the betterment of our world. Across the world, young people are looking for a meaningful spirituality and ways to get involved, especially in helping the most vulnerable in our society.
  5. Consider the environment: Care of creation must be included in all of our planning. The possibility of environmental destruction looms large because of present styles of living, value systems, and manner of relating. Care for the Earth and responsibility for Earth’s resources are necessary for the survival of humankind. Appreciating the beauty and wonder of nature can bring joy to people’s lives and peace to our world.

We can be the change-makers

In conclusion, we have the ability to change the tide of our time. The question is “Do we have the individual and political will to bring about a future that is whole and hope-filled for all people?” Let us begin today, with outside-the-box thinking inspired by the belief that change is indeed possible and we can create a new world with peace and hope for all. Let us enter the New Year with courage, conviction and hope. Happy New Year to all!