Normally, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. When I resolve to do something, I do it. I don’t wait for a Monday or the start of a new year to do it. I make up my mind and I get started. I’ll admit, when I do resolve to do something, I usually focus on how I can improve myself. And I think that’s okay because we should all be looking for ways to improve ourselves. But volunteering for Carry the Future has taught me that if I want to help change the world, I must resolve to improve more than myself. I must work to improve the world.
My first resolution is to work even harder to make sure my children grow up to be world changers. Improving the world sounds like a lofty goal for one person to pursue. How can one person change the hearts of many? Or have an effect on a global community? For me, it starts at home. The most significant way I can improve the world is through my children. With three children under six (and a fourth on the way), I have four pretty amazing ways to impact the world. The single most important thing I can do to make my kids world changers is foster a kind heart in each of them. They’re young, so they’re still learning, and it’s a daily task that my husband and I take greatly to heart. I know that teaching them to be kind and compassionate is going to be a difficult task. I also know that raising world changers means I am raising individuals who are going to have to sacrifice, work hard, and have their hearts broken at times, so we’re preparing them for that as well.
My second resolution is to find more ways to help the most vulnerable in society. Trying to change the world while raising a family is a difficult task, so right now I’m not doing as much as I’d like to be doing. I volunteer here and there, but I always feel that I can be doing more. It is not enough to read the news and scoff in disgust or anger, I have to take action. When I saw the pictures of Alan Kurdi, I knew that I needed to do something. For a long time, I didn’t do anything other than think about what I couldn’t do. Then I saw a volunteer opportunity for Carry the Future; thinking I’d never be selected, I applied and I got the position. Even though I’m not working directly with refugees, I am helping them through my words and it is gratifying to know even that helps.
My third resolution is to use my money for good. As cliche as it sounds, money makes the world go around. In the past, I’ve given money to different organizations without really looking into how responsible they are with that money. I think we’ve all had that moment of walking into a store and feeling guilty for walking past a charitable organization outside, so we throw some money in. This year, I am rethinking not only how I give my money but also how I spend it. I will not be purchasing from organizations that are unethical. I will not give to businesses that do not give back. I will not give money to corporations that treat their workers poorly. I will give to honest organizations like Carry the Future, who use their donations to make a real impact in the world.
These are not just my New Year’s resolutions. These are my new life’s resolutions. With each new year, we start fresh and that’s what I plan to do this year. 2018 is going to be a year of improvement and growth. What will you do to help change the world?
Written by Gwen Skar