I could write about the hope of a new year. I could write about all that mystical magic we often believe exists as we roll into January. Resolutions! Big plans! A new year, new me! It's that that lingering holiday cheer that has us believe that everything is new once again, a chance to start over. The reality is, it's just another day on the calendar limited only by our thoughts and our actions. We make the magic and we don't need a "1," and a "1" on a calendar as some secret ingredient.

That's right, it's New Year's day tomorrow, and the holidays are coming to a close. I do what comes natural, thinking while observing those around me. I'm curious, have you lost "the Christmas Spirit" yet? It's coming but many don't realize it. Whether you maintain a religious connection or not, the spirit of the holiday season seems to quickly fade but we all have the ability to prevent it from doing so.

Whatever the reason for your season, this special time of year can persist. For me, it's about doing good for others. But maybe it's because we overdose in the last 6 weeks of the year that we're burnt out. We shift from others to ourselves with resolutions which usually fail even quicker than the holiday cheer itself.

We seem to be far more generous during the holiday season. Charities get more from us, the needy get more from us, even friends and family get more from us. The needs of those around us are great and the resources are limited. You can be a power to change that. You can be an unspoken hero which is quite possibly one of the greatest roles life has to offer.

All around us we complain about violence, the break down of family, the ever growing wealth gap that drags more and more into poverty, and the many other woes of society. But each and every one of us can do more than just give 6 weeks of the year. Many of us do, but so many can do more, lots more. Don't just watch the problems you see, get motivated, become a voice, be an action for change. Complaining doesn't cause change. In fact all it does is likely make you feel more down about the world around you.

Have kids in school? Attend a school board or PTO meeting, it's astounding how so few parents go to these important events. Reach out to your local United Way, contact the local food bank, the list is endless. In fact, I suspect you'll hear many of them say how their needs are high and the resources low. Don't have time? Maybe cut down on the millions of after school kid activities and get them to come along. Teach them now the value of helping others, volunteering, making a difference. Trust me, college's will reward them just as much, if not more, for giving back as volunteers as they would for being on every sports team the calendar permits.

Quite simply, if you want to make 2013 great, be an action of change. It will be as great as the effort you put forth. It'll be even greater if the effort you put forth is aimed at others more than at yourself. Happy new year everyone!

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Copyright © 2012 Scott Karlo; available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

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