A New Year’s Resolution for You?

Heart on headThe way I see it you need to have your heart on your head or on your sleeve or someplace where you can lay your hands on it fast. These days, it’s not enough to have your head in the game. Your heart needs to be there, too.

One by one and as a society, we need to have more ‘people are hurting, it doesn’t have to be this way, we need to do something’ thinking and less fiscal analysis, cost-benefit equations, and philosophical posturing.

To my mind, if a single child gets killed by a gun, we ought to get rid of guns. With my heart on my head, I know that the death of one child is as tragic as 26 or 260 or 26,000. I know that a single mother dying of breast cancer because she has no health insurance should shove the metrics of affordable health care into the deepest pit on earth. One old person alone and eating tuna out of a can should be all it takes to make our hearts beat in a different direction.

Where there is so much wrong – schools that don’t work, people who are desperate for help who can’t get it, women getting hurt by their partners, folks hanging on to their dignity by their fingernails – it’s so hard not to drive by, go around, shrug, and blame. It’s exhausting thinking of all that needs fixing so like the tired husband, eyeing the couch, we rationalize giving up on the chores. It’s all impossible, we decide. So we do nothing.

This year, be different. Just do this one thing. Put your heart on your head.

Help somebody have a better time of it right now.

Collect socks for homeless people.

Help a kid with his homework.

Hold the hand of a dying person.

Coax a scared teen to get help.

Talk to a lost soul.

Decide that making things better can be simple. As simple as deciding to put your heart on your head.

If you do this in 2015, I guarantee that you will feel better about yourself and the world. You will be cheered by generosity and buoyed by possibility. The people you help will be surprised and changed – you probably won’t see that but it will happen nonetheless.

I’m not right about everything but I think I’m right about this. Put your heart in the right place and go forth. 

Happy New Year!

Originally posted December 31, 2012.

4 Comments on “A New Year’s Resolution for You?

  1. Amen, Jan. Right on target then. And right on target again now. Back then I was unemployed or serving the unemployed. Then I spent this past year unemployed. And now I work with a company that serves those in need of Obamacare and BadgerCare, and I’m doing the best that I can. Still, there is so much further to go. Blessings in the New Year.

  2. If a single child gets killed by a gun we ought to get rid of guns? Whaaaaat? I’m a liberal and a Democrat and a gun owner and I’m not now and will never be an NRA member but I find that statement disturbingly short sighted. It’s like saying we should get rid of all knives if a knife is used to take one child’s or person’s life. I’d GLADLY get rid of my guns if I thought doing so would save even ONE child’s or person’s life. I’m all for banning ANY gun designed to kill people – including handguns – but the suggestion that getting rid of all guns to save ANYone’s lives from violence is patently absurd. In addition to banning assault weapons and handguns, we would do well to examine the cultural facets of our society that dehumanize, and desensitize people to violence while turning violence into just another form of entertainment….as in video games, TV programs, even language. Dealing far more effectively with mental health issues needs to be a priority, as well, if we’re to begin to eliminate CT-type tragedies in the US.

    • Hi Surprised,

      I was going to respond by saying my gun comment was hyperbole but the more I thought about it I realized it is exactly what I think. I don’t believe anyone needs a gun (yes, I know about the U.S. Constitution) and yes, the point that one child’s life is as valuable as dozens – that it doesn’t take volume to make a tragedy – stands, I do appreciate your comment though and respect your point of view.

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