2013, like every other year, brought tragedies, victories, progressions and tears. Just some of the news-worthy stories that have filled the American media in 2013 include the Boston Marathon bombing, the government shutdown and the legalization of gay marriage for some states. While each of these stories brought mixed emotions among the American people, there is something they all share: They brought us together as Americans. While not necessarily coming together in agreement at all times, the compromises, debates and differing perspectives have brought us together as a nation. I don’t think there is much on which we can all agree, but when all of our thoughts, beliefs and even imperfections come together, it has the potential to make our community, nation and ourselves better.
With 2014 already among us, it’s exciting to think we’ve begun a new year filled with new opportunities. Along with the common new year’s resolutions many of us make each January, I’ve also found it valuable to simply be open-minded to short-term goals that could further help loved ones, peers or the community. In some ways, being too hung up on how we want to change ourselves can make us close-minded to the opportunities that arise each day that could impact a cause, mission or person around us. Maybe, even, through investing our time and efforts into a person or cause can, in turn, help us better ourselves. Our goal should be to have an open-minded attitude towards opportunites surrounding us each day that can help make an impact.
So maybe instead of dwelling so much on how we want to change and better ourselves, we can focus on impacting others in the year to come. After doing that, we’ll find we have indeed improved ourselves. With that, welcome to a new year with an endless array of new opportunities to make a change!