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OPINION: Include community in your plans for the New Year

Here we are at the opening of a brand new decade. Am I the only one who feels like Y2K was just a few years ago? There’s no way that was 20 years ago! I suppose it is true because that’s what the calendar shows. There’s no doubt in my mind: the older you get, the faster time travels.

Despite the dread of getting a year older, I’m not too sad to see 2019 move on into the history books. While there was some good news to report last year, it seems to be overshadowed by some of the sadder events. But, a new year and a new decade bring with it a fresh perspective and the anticipation of better days to come.

I imagine many of us are looking to the new year as a great time to rid ourselves of old habits and start new ones.  Maybe we are looking to eat less junk food and start exercising more. Or, perhaps spend less on unnecessary items and put more in the bank.

While it is always a good thing to have goes to improve our lives, perhaps we could also consider goals that would make an impact within our community. Making a positive difference for others often leads to feeling better about yourself and that’s what resolutions should be about.

Every community has its needs and there’s likely something for everyone when it comes to contributing. For those who want to keep it simple, perhaps picking up a few extra items at the grocery store each week to donate to the Demopolis Food Pantry.

Perhaps those looking for a more hands-on contribution could look at coaching a youth sports team or organizing a neighborhood litter pick-up day.

There are also opportunities to get involved and meet new people by volunteering. Whether its through your church or for one of our community’s events, such as Christmas on the River or Rooster Day, there’s always things that need to be done and you’ll probably make a few friends along the way.

For many adults, they best thing they could provide to their community is their experience and knowledge. Serving on a city board or mentoring young people is a great way to give back and make a positive impact on people.

Sometimes, it’s not just about the knowledge, but the passion that one brings that makes the difference. If you love books, start a book club. If you enjoy carpentry, donate time to build ramps at the homes of the elderly. The things we can do to help others is never ending.

Whatever your goals are for the New Year, and new decade, I wish you the best of luck. Just remember that when you fall, get back up!

(This column originally appeared in the Wednesday, January 8 issue of the Demopolis Times.)