New Year's resolutions come and go.
Often they are short-lived, typically lasting no longer than a few days to a few weeks.
What should each of us resolve to do this coming year? What should each of us hope for and wish for this new year?
Throughout our communities are family members and neighbors who may be in need or want.
There are those inside our own workplaces, schools, churches and communities who are hurting and in need of an ear, shoulder, hand and heart.
Resolve to take a closer look around you this coming year and connect with those individuals who may need the friendship and companionship of another person.
Make a resolution to consider the thousands in the Lehigh Valley who are currently without jobs, without homes and without hope, who are doubling up, living with family or friends, living in homeless shelters within our own areas or on our own streets, without a place to call home.
Too often, as an advanced and civilized society, we are more concerned about our own desires and needs.
We'd rather strive for the tangible objects, goals and affections from others we consider necessary for survival and success.
Are these things really that important?
I work part-time, once a week, at a homeless shelter in the Lehigh Valley. I often ask myself: why do I continue to come back?
My answer to myself is simpler than I like to admit.
It's because of what the experience each week teaches me.
I have learned life revolves less around my own wants and should focus more on those who are truly in need.
I never make a New Year's resolution because I know I will not personally fulfill that resolution. Or, I'll just create one that is unrealistic in nature.
What I do know is realistic is taking more time this coming year to care more about others I know and come in contact with on a daily basis.
Or, I'll take the time to share a cup of coffee with a friend who may not feel life is treating them fairly.
And I'll visit a family member more this year then I have in the past, to just stop by and say "hello."
It's the simple things in life – actions and activities that all of us can commit ourselves to – that can become a resolution that will not only benefit each of us personally, but positively impact our very own communities.
Maybe our simple acts of caring will spread further, into neighboring communities.
For me, at least, resolving to care more about others is a commitment I might just be able to keep and a resolution worth keeping.
Happy New Year!