Happy 2019, Westfield High School! With the New Year come new resolutions to make, new lessons to learn and new opportunities to become better. Some of you may scoff at the idea of doing something as cliche as making resolutions for the New Year--we know we certainly did. Who actually follows through with resolutions past February? Then we considered what could happen if we actually used this opportunity for what it is: a second chance. We know that most of you will not take this opportunity and did not last year as well. So, instead of droning on about why you should make and commit to your resolutions, we have decided to share a few of our own. They may be relatively vague with no specific goal in mind, but we hope they still allow you to reconsider who you resolve to be this year.
Resolution One: Be Kind
In order to kick off the New Year, we figured we would start our resolutions off with something a little more simplistic. However, regardless of the simplicity and overuse of this resolution, kindness does matter. Any and every bit of kindness makes a difference, no matter how small. Kindness provides hope for those in desperate need of it, and it brightens the day of whomever it is bestowed upon. It is kindness that allows the world to go on in the face of disaster and tragedy, and it is kindness that allows society to come together and become more than what it was before. It is kindness that will change the world for the better. After all, there is a reason Mr. Bruns always says, “Be kind, work hard, and make the world a better place.”
Resolution Two: Be Aware
For our second resolution, we decided to delve a bit deeper into the idea of kindness. Being aware consists of knowing that everything we say or do, no matter how insignificant, has a direct impact on someone else. As teenagers, it can be easy to forget the significance of our lives on others, especially when we get caught up in ourselves. It is especially easy to forget that someone else is always struggling more than you, even if it seems false. By remaining conscious of what we say and do, we unconsciously make the world a better place, even if it is for just one person. And this isn’t meant to be taken as a request for every single person to monitor and filter every single action every single day. It is meant to serve as a reminder that we always have a choice, and that choice will always make a difference for at least one person, whether we know it or not.
Resolution Three: Be Open
Considering the current social and political climate, this resolution, we feel, is by far the most important, which is why we felt it best to address it last. Being open to new ideas, beliefs and opinions different than our own is one of the most important things we can do given the world in which we currently live. We are not saying you have to agree with other ideas, but you should respect other people enough to at least listen to what they have to say. We should be open enough to learn new ways of thinking without feeling threatened by a new way of life, to know that the right opinion is not always our own. We should be open enough to realize that just because something is different or new does not mean it is broken or wrong, that people are people, no matter their idea, belief, opinion or identity. We must never forget that all human life has value, that all human life has the same right to happiness and joy and existence as everyone else. No one has the right to minimize the gift of being alive.
Tommy and Erin