COLUMN: Resolutions for the new year

For 2015, I hope we can all succeed in strengthening deeper respect and kindness towards one another in our world.

The beginning of a new year is a time of resolutions and optimism for the year ahead. It is a time to reflect on one’s life and chart a new path and a new beginning. Resolutions that we set for ourselves can help us map our goals, and pave the way for the improvements that we would like to make in our lives.

As a society, we similarly hope for a future of peace, prosperity and goodwill amongst humanity. This quest for harmony should be our united resolution as a whole society.  Creating these overarching resolutions, in addition to our personal goals, will help us define and build a brighter future for our world.

Certainly, the past year reflected certain positive elements.  However, many saddening incidents like the executions of journalists – including the massacre in Paris just yesterday – the attack in Ottawa, the killing of school children in Pakistan, and many other horrific cases of injustice and crimes against humanity, occurred.

Moving ahead this year, I hope that we as a human race can build the bonds of unity and understanding with one another and realize that we all deserve respect. The actions that we carry out as individuals define the world that we live in. The resolutions that we create for peace and harmony are dependent upon all individuals acknowledging that their actions affect the community at large. Let’s strive to do our part to make sure that 2015 is the year that we get closer to our vision of such a world.

A resolution that we should make at the national level this year is to do our part as responsible citizens and strengthen our democracy. 2015 is the year of the next Canadian federal election. Those we elect to represent us will make the crucial decisions which affect various aspects of our individual lives, as well as the overall well-being of our society.

Instead of party-politics and partisanship, voters must strive to understand what a politician will truly do to address our issues. Political parties should make a resolution of focusing on explaining their positions and goals, instead of opting for a campaign that is all based on negativity.

I certainly hope that they will emphasize a serious, rigorous and honest debate on policy issues. In the case that such does not occur, I call on Canadians to raise their voices and seek a responsible and detailed answer on the issues at hand. As I have mentioned in a previous column, democratic responsibility is more than casting a ballot, but rather a duty that also entails a careful look at the underlying policies and positions.

As we head into the second week of 2015, let’s all look forward to experiencing the beauty of a new year. I wish everyone success in their personal resolutions and encourage them to persevere and not give up, even when faced with any type of adversity. I also hope we can all succeed in strengthening and creating deeper respect and kindness towards one another in our world – our home.

Japreet Lehal is a student at Simon Fraser University. He writes regularly for The Leader.


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