17 Ways to Be The Change in 2012Written by Karen Wagner
With the start of a new year, most of us make resolutions, or promises to ourselves to do better this year. Wouldn't it be nice if one of everyone's resolutions would be to make the world a better place?
Explore the rhythm of nature.
What is unique to your geographic area in the spring, summer, autumn, and winter? Try going to the same location in each season and observe changes in your surroundings and in you.
Foster community at home, work, and play.
Don't wait for someone else. Help people feel comfortable. Model listening. Encourage dreams. Acknowledge accomplishments. Smile.
Most of us have about 12 preferred meals that we regularly eat. Welcome different foods into your diet. Each month try at least one new food. This is easy and so much fun.
Practice one group and one individual sport.
If you are part of a family with children at home, consider selecting a group sport that is also a family sport. Family sports foster a shared experience while modeling intergenerational physical fitness, and sometimes you receive the benefit of family cooperation.
Embrace wonder. Every day.
Find something breathtaking wherever you are.
Does your heart experience joy while knitting, teaching adults to read, mentoring a youth in chemistry, advocating for LGBT rights, removing invasive plants from local parks, or financing microenterprises in developing countries? Whatever your gift, share it! You are needed, right now.
Experience different ways to pray.
Join a drumming circle. Try centering prayer. Create motions for your favorite prayer. Participate in a sweat lodge. Move with liturgical dance. Meditate.
Where do you normally get your information? Select different sources, like the BBC news. Read translations of reputable sources in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Learn the important issues in other countries.
Draw, sculpt a pot, strum a guitar, paint with watercolors, sing, make a silkscreen print, dance with joy. Enjoy being creative.
Each day experience restful silence. Sit, walk, float, or recline. No agenda. No to-do list. Simply be silent. Begin with 10 minutes per day. Add more minutes, as desired.
Jesus rested. Moses rested. You need to rest. Pick one day per week and honor regenerative Sabbath time. Include a technology Sabbath. Do not check your phone or computer for 24 hours. Keep Sabbath as a gift to you and as a gift to God.
Don't wait for big occasions. Thank at the grocery store, in a restaurant, at the toll booth, in church, at the gym, at the airport. Notice people being kind and honor their generous spirit.
Someone gave a good presentation, has a great tie, trains service animals, wrote an inspiring column? Tell them. Give compliments when you notice someone's effort, which may or may not have been intended for you.
Do you really need that item? Do you really need that addition to your schedule? Reduce, reuse, recycle. Say "no" without guilt.
Eliminate mindless television and online viewing.
How to replace the wasted hours? Take a class. Help a neighbor. Read. Pray. Walk. Prepare vegetables. Volunteer. Sleep.
Honor family time as sacred time.
Once a week participate in a planned family activity. Are you a family of one? Skype family members, visit them, or be with close friends. Whether biological or gathered, celebrate and honor those who love you and those whom you love.
Go to the UCC's donation page and select one area or ministry and make a donation every month. Any amount--$5 - $500. Learn all you can about that specific ministry or cause.