We need to find our determination


2015 is almost a memory and 2016 is on the horizon so with a new year only a matter of days away, it should be noted that there is always hope.

Even though the date Jan. 1 is merely a number on a calendar, the perspective most have is it is a new beginning replete with possibility and a fresh start. This applies to each and every one of us, but also for our nation during an extremely tumultuous time.

It takes dedication to create change and a willingness to withstand discomfort to see the process through. While that may sound tough — and it is — it is not impossible as long as the goals are either worthy of the effort or attainable.

It would be impossible to list the resolutions of the hundreds of millions of people who make them but there are resolutions that could be applied to our country, none of which are so difficult as to preclude their success.

Here are some suggestions for our nation in the new year:

1. Fact checking should become the habit of all who use social media. The practice of accepting anything that appears on the internet as truth and the dissemination of misleading information that has not been verified creates an environment where truth is not nearly as important as sensationalism.

2. As a populace, thinking before speaking or reacting would go a long way to defuse tempers, promote cooperation, and may make compromise a little easier to swallow. Speaking — or writing — before truly thinking through the words is reckless and undermines many of our democratic principles and individual rights.

3. Embracing a sense of accountability from government to individuals across the board could be a resolution to take our society back to a time when integrity and responsibility were kings. The growing trend is that no one is responsible for their own actions, instead blaming bogus excuses such as Affluenza to see that none has their feelings hurt. Someone has to be responsible.

4. Resolving to have a true debate and dialog on mental illness in this country may not be flashy or exciting but in the end would lead to changes that could be a social success. Funding and research would not lead to bridges, military adventures, or even more importantly, press opportunities for our elected officials, but in the end would reduce crime rates and homelessness to a degree.

5. Finally, having our national leadership take care of our veterans is a must. Resolving to take no rest until returning veterans are no longer homeless or dependent upon private donations for medical care, rehab, or therapies from private organizations such as Wounded Warrior Project.

Our leaders and politicians get plenty of mileage from talking about patriotism and service for freedom, offering incentives for service in the military, but fall short in taking care of the very people they all claim to honor and respect. If you are willing to ask a man or woman to lay their life on the line you should be willing to take care of them when they do make a sacrifice.

Will these resolutions come to pass? Probably not, but by believing it is possible and stringently dedicating yourself, change can occur. In the end, whether it is resolving to change your own life or the life of this nation, it takes determination, something we all need at this point.

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