Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, New You

Every year, on January 1, many people promise themselves changes. They make resolutions, vow to follow through, and very few actually see the fruition of the seeds they planted.
Often, fear of change is the biggest obstacle. Staying with the status quo is simpler and more predictable than changing routines or situations, even if the outcome would be better. Civil Rights issues have exemplified fears of change for over a century.
Relationships are a more personal example. While I am in full support of dedicated partners, I also know that some people stay with a significant other simply because of habit. Marriage vows are wonderful, but they are meant to be a two-way partnership. The balance may shift within the relationship, but there should always be give and take. If one side isn't keeping up his or her end of the deal, why should the "better half" maintain a broken contract? Yet, relationships from marriage to casual dating will continue because the miserable party would rather continue than endure change for potential better.
Looking at a more global concept, people fail to care for the environment because they don't see how one small effort can affect the greater good. Yet, I personally can see an impact from my own recycling efforts. I was recycling before recycling was popular. I would pick up cans on the side of the road, bundle newspapers, and encouraged co-workers to follow suit. When I moved outside of the city limits, and recycling containers were not accessible, I got out of the habit. Recently, I made the extra effort to find drop-off sites, which are actually more accessible than I realized. I have reduced my garbage by half or more, and the process was much simpler than I had imagined. What if everyone in my community reduced their garbage by half? What if everyone in the country reduced their garbage by half? One person, making one effort, could create an entire chain of change!
Whether it is complacency, habit, or lack of motivation, change, when needed, doesn't haven't to be difficult. All that is required is the first move.

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