The year 2011 was a year of putting things in their place, of speaking out, and fighting for a country that did not have to thrive on greed to get ahead, but needed a reminder of the small, wonderful things that once made it great. It has been a hard year, a year of learning, but also a year of greatness realized.
I have put together a list of things we can do to continue showing the world that we want to be better, and will accept nothing less.
1 | Never Stop Protesting
The Occupy Wall Street movement not only represented the voice of millions, and fought against greed – it gave us a chance to see if we would learn from our past mistakes. Previous protests have been treated similarly, in the way that authorities will find every reason in the book to put a stop to it. In the new year, not only should we continue to stand up for our rights but we should be proud of those who do, and remember what past protests have meant to our history, our country, and the world.
2 | Embrace Change
A new generation is on the forefront of a disturbed society – one that lives to work, and has questionable character, if any. However, things are changing, and with change comes resistance and denial. This year, let go of this resistance and allow yourself to slow down, quit trying to always get ahead. Instead, enjoy where you are while you pace yourself on the journey to who you will become.
3 | Stop Conforming
There always seems to be two sides in every situation, rather it is politics or simply a generational demeanor or trend. Every once in a while you will find someone who is neither one extreme nor the other. This is what I call a balance; one is not trying to be anything or choose a team. These people agree when they agree and disagree when they disagree. The funny paradox about conforming is that trying to go against the herd has its own “follower” aftertaste. So in 2012, don’t try to be something you’re not, just be comfortable in your own skin – it is truly enchanting.
4 | Make You Better First
Before you start trying to figure out how you can contribute to the betterment of mankind, make yourself happy. I think this is where so many great speakers and leaders went wrong; they were so concerned with getting their point across and seeing the changes that they lost themselves and were consumed by it. This year, spend time with you, give yourself time to think, and really figure out what path is going to make you the happiest in the long run. Even if it is scary, remember that nothing great was ever easy to come by, but the sooner you get over the hump the sooner you can get on with your life.
5 | Fix The Celebrity
This year brought many interesting celebrity confessions and realizations – no need to name names. This section refers to fixing our mentality of the celebrity. Sometimes the fact that someone out there makes 30 million dollars a movie while my president is telling me we are in a recession makes me so angry I could scream. However, on the scale I am currently on, I can’t fix that and I have no interest in communism or seeing to it that all celebrities make the same as me. I do think it is a ridiculous amount of money for a movie, and I hate that me watching old reruns of Two and a Half Men may be supporting someone’s weird drug habit. In the new year, I hope we all can be more aware of a celebrity’s economic standing, their humanity, and the fact that they probably don’t really look like that in real life.
6 | Set An Example By Doing, Not Preaching
So often I hear people talking about what others should and should not do – this is never based on the receiver’s own good but usually some kind of agenda. This coming year, rather than knocking on doors, or telling someone to be more like you – do something that really helps out. Volunteer somewhere, join the Peace Corps., get five people to start recycling, learn about another culture so you can become more understanding of worlds unlike your own. Most importantly, do not do it for any other reason than that it is right, and it makes you happy.
7 | Do Your Research
In 2012, make it a point to research before you simply believe something you hear. I believe one of the biggest reasons we have a two party system and war is because we are all under a huge misunderstanding. People base so much of their beliefs on hearsay rather than actually doing the research and forming their own opinions. Don’t just believe what someone stands up and says to you, anyone can do that.