In 2014, let's act with conviction

Dec 30, 2013

The beginning of a new year is typically a time to assess where we’ve been and map out a plan for the upcoming year, perhaps striving to do better in thos areas where we felt we fell short.

Often New Year’s resolutions are about some sort of a personal improvement — losing weight, quitting tobacco or giving up drugs or alcohol.

The sad reality of those resolutions is that they quickly fall by the wayside. Statistics show there is little follow-through.

What if in 2014 we approached our new year’s assessment in a different way — something we could do all at once that would make a difference, speak to our principles and help us not beat ourselves up so much a year from now as we reviewed our accomplishments?

A recent action of a Clyde physician comes to mind. Dr. Allan Zacher, an ardent supporter of public education, has been frustrated with legislative action that failed to fully fund public education while, at the same time, enacted large tax cuts — ones that provided the most benefit to the wealthy.

Zacher calculated the tax cut he expected to receive under the new formula and promptly wrote a check to the Haywood County Schools Foundation for that exact amount of money. The action was not only symbolic, but the money will be used by the foundation to augment some of the areas short-changed by state budget-makers.

Zacher’s example is one that we can follow in many ways.  Many of us have a particular passion or motivator — hopefully one that is larger than our own small circle of family and friends — where we could make a difference. Whether it is working with children, the elderly, the arts, sustainability, helping budding business owners, or contributing in some other area, the possibility for fulfillment looms large.

By giving of our time or resources, we can not only make a difference but can perhaps become re-energized by knowing our life is making a difference in the lives of others. That alone will make 2014 a good year.