I tend to shy away from resolutions comprised of checklists naming things I would like to accomplish in the coming year. Rather, I am drawn to themes; simple areas where I would like to dedicate myself. In the past, I have dedicated myself to a year of living curiously, happiness, and service. This year, I am being drawn to the idea of being the best American I can be. In the midst of a shifting political tide, this may require some civil disobedience on my part.
I am no longer satisfied with just being a bystander. My country has achieved tremendous progress in the last few decades, but there is still a great deal of work to do. The gains we've made cannot be stalled nor can the rock be rolled back up the hill. My fellow members of the LGBTQ community will not be forced back into the closet. We must continue to work to ensure they cannot be fired from their jobs or denied housing, because of who they love. Immigrants and refugees must be granted clear paths to citizenship. Minority communities must not be denied the right to vote, nor can we continue to tolerate institutional racism. Women deserve equal pay and access to family planning. We all deserve affordable health care.
For far too long, others have been fighting these battles on my behalf. I can no longer just write, post, and retweet my way to change. I must be willing to do the work, walk the walk, and have the tough conversations. My mission and resolution will begin with small steps. First, education and research will be my aim. I am looking for organizations aligning with my beliefs. Next, outreach is my goal. I want to be used where I can be the most impactful. We all possess special talents and those gifts should be used to make a difference. Finally, my goal is to be a willing participant ready to do the work of change.
If I can do these things, then I can face myself every morning without the disgust of just complaining. I can walk around with a sense of pride knowing that I am doing my part to make a measurable difference in my community and ultimately my country. Whether you agree or disagree with the policy proposals from the incoming administration, I think we, as American citizens, should all strive to such ideals.
Be good to each other,