We made it. We may be bruised, battered and have the scars to prove it, but we all made it! 2020 was a year that no one saw coming and that no one could prepare for. It brought out the absolute worst in people, but it also brought out the best.
With a new year comes new year's resolutions, but this year I am putting aside your typical resolutions and trading them in for character challenges. I invite you to come on the journey with me and perhaps even add these to your own list. When our world becomes darker with pride, greed and hate, let us be those that to display love, hope and empathy. My highest goals this year are
If 2020 taught me anything, it is that we are living in a polarised world and topics of disagreement are increasing vastly and becoming even more divisive. From politics, to science, to culture, to how to tie your kid's shoelaces, everyone has an opinion on everything and for some reason, we are all so adamant to make our opinion the one that is right. To combat the divisiveness, my highest goal is to extend kindness to all. It is easy to be kind and generous to those you agree with, but how about old mate down the road that you have completely different views to? If we are to cancel out all the people we disagree with, how are we to build our character of love, patience and human decency? You don't have to agree with someone to be kind to them, to treat them with respect and dignity. Perhaps we can start changing the course of history to one that is filled with hope, rather than hate.
One of my greatest challenges is following through on things I've set my mind to. I can easily empathise with situations or people's struggles and set my heart to helping, contributing or sending a message of support or encouragement to someone. Then comes that split second decision where I say to myself "I'm just busy doing something now, I'll text them later" or I will say "I just need to wait till pay day before I can contribute to this cause" or perhaps even "Someone else will pick up that rubbish that I just walked past, I don't need to pick it up". None of it is bad in of itself, however I find myself never following through on the things I said I would. My initial reaction of wanting to help quickly turns into one much harder to overcome; stagnation, sitting in a state of inactivity. This year I want to overcome that! I want to be an impulse helper, an impulse shoulder-to-cry-on, an impulse contributor to that new mum down the road that I just know would benefit from a coffee delivered in the morning or a frozen dinner meal. Let us not be people of words, but of actions. You can say a million kind things without saying a word.
I absolutely love the movie Yes Man and in a sense have been so challenged by it. How many opportunities have I closed off and said no to, because of fear? Fear of not being good enough, fear of the unknown, fear of being judged, fear of failing. I want to be a better person for the community around me and for the world. For me personally, I steer away from saying yes to some things because I am scared that I won't be able to commit to something a full 100% and so would rather just say no so that I don't disappoint myself and others. A great example of this is buying ethically, plastic-free and locally. For someone that started an ethical clothing label, this sounds absolutely crazy, right?! But in full transparency and vulnerability, yes, even I still struggle committing to this 100% of the time. There are many reason why not every one of my purchases tick these boxes, including price, availability of product and function. In the past, I have just accepted that I would never be able to do, which is where my buying habits have been without purpose. However, more recently (and I think it's mostly thanks to our strict lockdowns that have allowed us more time and resources to put away, think and research product before buying) I have said YES this...even if not every item I buy may necessarily fall in line with this, because at least I am starting—at least I am trying—at least it is one extra item that will help a community—at least it is a step in the right direction—at least it is an action I am taking. Let this be the year you say YES without fear!
These may all sound simple, but I tell you what, they are much harder to walk out than just say it out loud or write it on a pretty list. If I am to change the world, I must first challenge myself.
Who's with me?!
Here's to 2021, a year to embrace!