It's finally 2012. We really are living in the future now. Soon it will be 2019, and then 2042, and then 2078. My grandchildren could be born in the 2050s.
But that is a long way away from today. Right now, the world is in chaos. War, famine, natural disasters, crime, gender inequality, occupation, and unhealthy habits abound.
This is the year that things are going to change, for better or for worse. This year, Presidential elections in the United States will change how Americans are viewed around the world, how international foreign policy affects war and peace, and how domestic policy affects the lives of millions of people.
This year, governments and activists around the world are preparing to deal with the effects of global climate change: intense heat waves, outbreaks of malaria, increased floods, more cases of food poisoning (which increases along with average temperature), increased pollution, melting polar ice caps, continued deforestation and desertification, and the continued unnecessary endangerment of plants and animals (including us!).
On the other hand, people everywhere are mounting an ever-stronger resistance to tradition, capitalism and occupation. All over the world, people are claiming their rights to equality and independence, to control their own fate.
And I believe, along with Paulo Coelho, that when you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it.
For me personally, 2012 is a year of momentous change. This marks the first year in which I have been free from the traditional bounds of education and the restrictive schedule and expectations of college.
I am 22 years old, and I am ready to make my own change. I am not following anyone else's lead now. Nothing is original, and I am preparing to steal and innovate on the worthy ideas of others this year.
I am brainstorming organizations that will support my own creativity (check back soon for official announcement), and that provide opportunities for others (friends and strangers) to do the same. I am living according to a system of morality that never keeps me awake at night. I am taking more risks. I am dreaming bigger, and slowly beginning to make concrete connections between my dreams and reality.
I have been around for more than two decades, and I'm not wasting any more time.
- I am prioritizing my health. (I will not eat gluten, nor will I consume animal products of any kind. I will eat as locally as possible, and I will minimize sugar consumption.)
- I am prioritizing my happiness. (I will not regret or resent time spent dreaming or recharging. I will value creativity and the simple pleasures in life.)
- I am prioritizing my intelligence and my dreams. (I will not let my own ideas and convictions fall by the wayside in the face of challenges from others. I will continue to educate myself and to seek opportunities to translate thought into action for the benefit of all living things. By the end of 2012, I will be operating my own non-profit.)
- I am prioritizing my loved ones. (I will be vulnerable with my friends and family, and I will support their dreams and well being as I support my own.)
- I am prioritizing my planet. (I will educate myself about environmental issues and sustainability. I will take steps to offset my own contributions to global climate change, and I will participate in meaningful activism that protects and respects the earth.)
- I am prioritizing peace. (I will not spend any time or energy on activities that do not directly contribute to increasing peace, whether they be in my personal or professional life, amongst family, friends, or co-workers, or on a local or global scale. I will engage in meaningful conversations and actions that encourage genuine peacemaking and reconciliation, as opposed to surface-level resolution.)
What are your commitments for 2012?