One can't help but reflect on the years passed when New Years rolls around. I am no exception, and have definitely been doing a lot of thinking on 2012, and what I want 2013 to mean in my life. At the beginning of 2012 I was still fairly new to the Bay Area. Wanting to meet and experience as much as possible in San Francisco, I decided that anytime someone asked me to do something- as long as it wasn't A. illegal B. morally reprehensible or C. at conflict with another plan, I would say yes. This led me to spend time with and get to know a lot of people I might not have otherwise and I am very happy I did this.
On the other hand, meeting so many people led me to an epiphany about the state of my generation. I realized that the plague of San Francisco, as is with many other large cities, is indifference. Apathy is an ever discreet but ever present evil. Scoffing at a homeless man on the street, cutting someone off in your zipcar, not holding the elevator open as you go up to the 7th floor at Twitter- everyday life is full of chances to be kind not taken.
Ignoring others' needs builds up a lovely immunity against despair, which lets us live everyday oblivious of sadness in the world. It can be good sometimes. It's like that damn ASPCA commercial that comes on with Sarah McLachlan's songs. No one really wants to sit and wallow in sadness. Changing the channel solves that pretty quickly. Unfortunately, there's no remote control on life. :\
Simply waking up everyday, going to work, making money to spend a little at the bar with acquaintances - it's not such a bad life. But the problem, for me, is that I do not consider that to be truly living. It is existence, yes, by definition. But it isn't LIVING.
"We are MORE than conquerors through him who loved us" reads Romans, and I can tell you that I have not felt like much of a conqueror lately.
So this year, instead of saying simply saying "yes" to going out with friends- I have a new goal.
I'm going to say "yes" to kindness. I'm going to embrace it in every day life and in every interaction with every person that I can, and I'm going to try and live by that. It's going to be hard, and at times I know I'm going to want to just get wasted and talk poorly behind someone's back, but that is not what life is about, and that's not what my life is going to be about.
To quote a favorite fictional character of mine,
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." - Dumbledore, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
So this year, I will choose to be kind.