As I look back at 2013, the posts I've written in the Marketplace, the articles we've shared on our Facebook page, and our Twitter messages, I've come to appreciate the power of social media. I am convinced now more than ever that our vision of leveraging social media to effect change is one worthy of continuing, one we must push forward.
We did not deviate from our goal of focusing on major issues such as voting rights, education, and criminal justice reform. We maintained our belief that as a society we need to be more socially aware but more importantly socially responsible. Rest assured, we will continue in this vein in 2014.
My wish for 2014 is for us to spend more time focusing on the little things, the things that often go unnoticed and unrecognized.
I wish we take a moment to read to a child. Reading opens a child's mind to the world. It can create a quest for knowledge. The old adage that reading is fundamental is still relevant. Does your local library have a reading club? Is there a book store nearby that has a children's corner. A child's mind is like a blank canvas, let's take some time to help them paint a beautiful picture.
Let's take it one step further and buy a book for a child.
I wish we take some time out of our busy schedules to be a mentor. In today's world we cannot expect parents to do it alone. Unfortunately in many cases parents are too busy working to provide for their children. Children need leadership, guidance, and direction. It does take a village.
I wish we help someone less fortunate financially or contribute to organizations trying to make a difference. Give up that vanilla latte for a week. Bring your lunch to work a couple of days out of the week. Purge your closets of clothes that you know you're never going to wear again. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own living that we forget how truly blessed we are. I cannot fathom the thought of being homeless, of not knowing where my next meal is going to come from. We can do better, we can contribute more.
I wish for us to be more socially responsible. It's up to us, no more waiting for the next person to do what we could be doing. Let's commit to spending less time talking about what needs to be done and spending more time doing it. What can you do? Take a look around, there's always something that can be done. If by chance you can't think of anything, pick one of the three above.
I wish everyone a wonderful and prosperous new year!
It starts now, let's get this thing done....
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.