We’ve marched into a new year today, boldly ready to accept the challenges that lie ahead and, hopefully, grasp the opportunities that just might be within our reach.
Armed with the knowledge that both are likely to occur, we hope we are ready for all that 2014 has to offer.
Today, just hours into our new year, we are feeling a little less apprehensive and a lot more hopeful, and many of us have breathed a collective sigh of relief if only because as we look into the future the brighter lights are shining.
Perhaps now, with the revelry subsiding and the fears, if not diminished, at least subsided as we eagerly anticipate better things to come, it is time to really reflect upon the last few years and to set our minds — and our hearts — on the things that must be done as we enter 2014.
We’re not talking about resolutions, for they are usually destined to be broken, and often are. We’re talking about commitments that we need to make individually and collectively as we begin this new year, commitments that will make life better for us now and for those who will come after us.
We believe our new year should start with commitments that begin with peace and end with a return to the moral convictions many of us still remember being taught at our grandmother’s knee, commitments that deal with loving one another and being kind to our fellow man.
In the years behind us there have been wars, some which have yet to be resolved, hatred and abuses untold. And there was a slow, but obvious tear in the moral fiber that this country was founded upon.
Today we must begin to repair that tear. We must, with love and kindness, sew together that moral fiber, making it stronger as we go.
To do that we must begin within ourselves and then reach out to others.
So today, the beginning of this new and hopefully better year, let us make these commitments:
• To not raise our hands in anger toward another individual;
• To relearn and then teach our children about working for what we get; earning a living rather than being handed one;
• To relearn and then teach our children about earning trust and giving it;
• To relearn what morals are supposed to be all about and then teach those morals to our children, using ourselves as the example by which we, and they, should live;
• To relearn the value of family and then teach it to our children, again by example, as we spend quality time with them, sharing around-the-table meals, helping them with their homework, taking them on family weekend outings; enjoying a family movie; and going to church together on Sunday morning;
• To relearn what government is supposed to be all about and then hold those we’ve elected accountable to those standards; and
• To relearn, or in some cases realize, that wealth and power aren’t the most important things in life — family, faith, friends and compassionate hearts are.
With the future uncertain, the economy, thought better, still a looming question mark and the world’s troubles likely to rest at our doorstep, one way or another, it’s hard to make such lofty commitments, but make them we should. It could be just what we need to launch the year we all hope 2014 will be.