2020 has been some kind of year. We have experienced a pandemic, racial injustice, environmental disasters, massive amounts of death, and political unrest. So the new year, 2021, is a welcoming sight in the distance that many in our world are finding hope within. But as the pandemic rages, specifically in the US, 2021 is realistically not going to give us a renewed feeling or a clean slate. It will not erase the aftermath of irresponsible government nor will it magically eradicate systemic poverty or racism. 2021 will bring to us more death, more climate change, more incompetent leaders, and more questions about our humanity and our responsibility to keep one another safe.
New Year’s resolutions will come storming into our minds. Weight loss. Exercise. More reading. Less drinking. Quit smoking. But with all that has happened to us this year, resolutions and empty promises are not enough for our world or for ourselves. Here are just 5 ways to rethink New Year’s resolutions:
- Commit to wearing a mask.
Wearing a mask is more than just a protective measure for yourself and for others. The mask is a simple way to show love. It is a way to live out our faith that calls us to love our neighbor. By protecting our neighbor from a virus that could end up killing them or killing a family member, we are sharing in our collective humanity. We are condemning individualism that skews freedom because freedom does not mean putting one another in danger.
- Learn about the injustices of your own context
Injustice is all around us. We have seen this during a pandemic that has unearthed, for many of us, societal injustices that lift the wealthy while oppressing the impoverished and poor. Communities are suffering because of job loss, death, fear, and so much more. During this new year, get to know your community and how you can plug in to help.
- Concentrate on your mental health
Isolation and lockdowns can reveal or resurface mental health issues. Listen to yourself and seek help if you need it. One of the long lasting impacts of this pandemic will be on the mental health of so many people especially our children, people of color, people who have lost loved ones and medical care workers.
- Support local businesses
Restaurants, bars, local shops, theaters, venues, and so many other businesses are struggling right now. Commit to support your local businesses by ordering food for delivery, donating, and partnering with others in the community to find ways to support.
- Stay engaged
We must not become complacent or numb to our surroundings or our politics. A breath is needed due to the last four years of complete irresponsibility and destruction; however, that breath must not last long. Racism, climate change, white supremacy, poverty – all of these things are not going to go away with a new political change or a vaccine. We must keep pushing, keep challenging, and keep speaking out.
JustLists by Unbound are created by the Unbound Team. To find other JustLists, click here.