This is going to be a bit of a different post, so please bear with me …
As I sat pondering what goals I might make for this New Year, my husband shared a rather depressing article in the Huffington Post. It highlighted America’s political and economic woes and the sense of despair that has settled on the country.
It was full of quotes from average Americans, like this: “I’m just waiting for China or somebody to take us over,” says Becky Jamison, 36. “Because we’re just falling apart.”
And: “What’s different from this and the Great Depression is that the moral fiber has changed,” says Russ Terry. “The reason we can’t handle this is we don’t have the moral backbone, the stick-to-it-tiveness… The government is just a reflection of the people, is it not?”
These are sentiments I can relate to; sentiments I have shared. How can we place hope in a future that seems to get darker with every breaking news story? From politics, to the economy, to moral decay, our prospects feel unrelentingly bleak.
The article continues: “Republicans or Democrats, liberal or conservative, young or old, they lack confidence – in the country’s potential to be great again, in their elected leaders’ ability to do the right thing, in the economy and in themselves. It’s not that they feel incapable of doing what needs to be done, as much as they are uncertain about what that right thing is and whether anything they can do will have any real impact.”
Another feeling I’ve shared. I’m guessing there are many who feel as I do; that we would be happy to sacrifice if we could feel confident that it would be of benefit.
Our country needs help and yet we feel helpless.
I was just telling my mom a few weeks ago, that I don’t see any hope for our country because our “moral backbone,” which is all but gone, was lost over a few short generations, in the most fundamental unit of society; the home.
The home: our own small, but immensely powerful sphere of influence, where learned behaviors are instilled for life. But in our selfish American homes we’ve become lazy and selfish… unwilling to teach our children the skills that create a strong, competent society. Skills like integrity, hard work, perseverance, dedication, generosity. Instead we value that which comes fast and easy and feels good. We are plagued with a sense of entitlement– Believing we deserve to be given, not that we struggle to earn.
After a few generations of fostering such behaviors, where else could we expect to be?
And then we complain. We blame. We expect some collective program or service to fix problems that were created on the individual level. We look to government or others to solve what has become a massive problem, with some massive, work-for-everyone solution.
We can’t keep hoping for some big band-aid to come cover our problems. If we truly want to make an impact I think we need to realize that our most important work won’t be world-wide, It will be back to that neglected unit where we first lost our footing…
Look around you. Find your home sphere of influence. “Lift where you stand.”
This New Year I’ve resolved to not lose hope. I simply can’t… I’ve already invested too much into the future, because I have this little peanut on the way. I have to believe there is good ahead of us.
My resolution is that I will not model laziness, entitlement, intolerance, abuse… but rather, integrity and hard work. I will open my eyes to the small, unnoticed services that I can perform for those in need. I will be generous and kind.
I will keep my chin up, my head high, and a smile on my face for the future that I know I will not collectively impact, but individually build.
To show my determination I’ve created my own campaign for 2012: Campaign: reSolve.
Because running is one of my greatest loves in life and something I immensely believe in, I thought it would be a good medium to work through as I challenge myself to impact my own sphere of influence.
Running takes hard work, determination, and heart, and I believe that I improve both myself, and those that I come into contact with through running. As I continue to run, and foster other healthy lifestyle choices, I know I can be an essential positive influence in my baby-on-the-way’s life.
So, for Campaign: reSolve 2012, I will try to find one race to run (or walk, as I become more pregnant) every week for the rest of my pregnancy. In addition, I will match the entry fee for each race and donate it charitably.
Feel free to join me and modify/use this idea for your own campaign: reSolve 2012. I encourage you to find some way to lift where you stand and make an impact right where you are. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with money. It’s about doing something.
Will we change the world? Um… probably not, but we’ll be changing ourselves and building those around us… and that’s how it starts.
Here is a list of my upcoming races (so far, feel free to add suggestions!) If you live in the area, I’d love to see you there!
Get ready to see a lot more of the Baby on Board shirt!
Because I’m grateful for all that I’ve been blessed with, I’m grateful for this country, I’m grateful for the future, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to improve the future. And so I’m resolved to give all I can, in my small way, to build a bright one!