Welcome to 2013 — the holidays have come to a close. Congratulations for making it to another new year.
Many of you have set New Year’s resolutions. Some of you want to lose weight. Some of you want to drink less alcohol. Some of you want to stop smoking. Some of you want to go to church more. Some of you want to get a new job.
Some of you have already failed to accomplish these “wants,” but it is not too late. These “wants” all have the same common denominator, which is to personally get healthier. It is to improve yourself from the previous year.
However, many of us know people who set these standards and never achieve them. We go hard in the gym for three weeks and then we stop. We stop smoking for three or four days, and then we start up again. We skip going out to the club, so we do not drink, and then we are back on Friday night.
Is it difficult to stop habits that have been with us for such a long time? Or do we really want to stop?
The New Year’s holiday is supposed to signify a new beginning or a fresh start. However, we are setting resolutions for ourselves. Do we actually know what a resolution is?
By definition, it is the process of resolving something. So in theory, we are achieving our New Year’s resolutions by failing to reach the new goals we set. We have “resolved” back to how we have been functioning for such a long time.
Therefore, I propose we set New Year Evolutions. This can be what you need to get yourself to a healthier level. This can be what will bring the community to a healthier level as well.
As individuals, we must improve our thoughts, speech and actions. This is a united-independent effort to improve our current state of being: united in the goal we have and independent in the actions we take to get there.
I am going to propose 10 things you can do to model better results and BeMore in 2013. These are evolutionary steps to become more active, constructive and productive. These are easy things that you can begin to do today that do not cost you anything but minimal effort. These are 10 easy steps we can call “Minimizing Conflict.” It is very important to understand these 10 steps. They are:
1) Stop Snitching (to get ahead of someone else): The only need to give information on others is to reduce or stop harm and mistreatment from being done.
2) Stop Name-calling: The only name you should refer to someone by is how they prefer to be called. Whether that is a title, nickname, or birth name, this is the correct way to refer to people.
3) Stop Cursing (period): Cursing only causes emotional frustration and negative energy.
4) Stop Gossiping: Gossiping does nothing constructive for you. It just causes more problems for you.
5) Stop Being Discouraged: Encouragement to a person is like water to a plant.
6) Stop Stealing: If it does not belong to you and/or you cannot purchase it, you do not need it.
7) Stop Robbing: If you must forcefully take something, you do not need it.
8) Stop Fighting: Fighting does nothing constructive for you. It just causes more problems for you.
9) Stop Killing: The purpose of killing something is not constructive. It causes pain to everyone involved.
10) Stop Squabbling amongst other Black people and asking other people to settle (fix) your problems for you: We must take more personal and communal accountability for our thoughts, speech, and actions. If we do not take accountability, then we do not have a community.
You do not have to do all 10 right away. Start with two or three. Master those, and then start on two or three more. This will make a significant difference. I have done them myself, and I have noticed significant differences in me and with the people around me. The treatment is better from everyone I come into contact with on a day-to-day basis. This year can be the year you see real change.
I propose that we began to model these behaviors. Modeling is the key. You must model an example of non-conflict. This will help you develop into someone better than in previous years.
If you are open to making a change, these 10 steps may be the way to go. What is your purpose? If it is to be a healthier person overall, then this maybe a step in the right direction.
Therefore, next year at this time you can ask yourself this question: “Does the difference you make, make a difference?” This is the type of New Year Evolution we must have as Black people.
It is time. Live your life with purpose on purpose. It is time to BeMore.
Brandon Jones, M.A., a BeMore coordinator, welcomes reader responses to bjones@the familypartnership.org.