1. Take better care of our women and children.
We need to do a much better job protecting those who cannot defend themselves. Our mothers, daughters and sons deserve our utmost care.
2. Be good to our environment.
Now, we know better, yet we keep on allowing our planet to be poisoned to a fatal degree because of greed and laziness. Our Mother Earth is giving us life, so respecting her should be a priority.
3. Stop hurting innocent people.
Terrorism, mass shootings, genocides, drone strikes, torture, false imprisonment, and the struggle of refugees should have no place in our world.
4. Empower others.
The fastest way to change the world for the better is to help, encourage, and strengthen others, not ourselves.
5. Talk less and listen more.
Everyone wants to be right, everyone rallies for their own agenda, and everyone says “but what about me?!" Only by pausing that inclination can we truly listening to others, fostering understanding, compassion, and then unity.
6. Eat real food.
Enough with the genetically modified, processed, radiated, and laboratory produced quasi-foods. They’re sickening our society so let’s go back to the good, natural stuff.
7. Celebrate our differences.
Diversity shouldn’t be something we shy away from - that only leads to more fear and isolation. It’s time to embrace the vivid and rich differences among us so we can see them for what they really are: beautiful.
8. Strive for a global community.
We are 7 billion members of the same species on the same planet at the same time in a big, infinite, timeless universe. If that isn’t enough in common to see ourselves as brothers and sisters in the same global family, I don’t know what is.
9. Understand the real struggle.
Conflicts in this world are never about who did what to whom, political parties, nations, or even religious ideologies. The true struggle throughout history has always been about those who bloodlust for money and power, and their efforts to distract and control the disenfranchised.
10. Grow strong enough to be tolerant and compassionate.
Real strength is never about standing over someone; it’s about helping them up. Our first instinct is often to judge, label, and defend our egos against others, but we should try to see ourselves as their kindly, warm-hearted benefactors, instead.
11. Invest in the next generation.
If only we could build schools, not bombs; provide opportunities, not force opinions, and nurture our youth to rise above the mistakes we’ve made - the world will be an amazing place within a very short time.
12. Don’t give up on the world.
To heal our planet, we need to demand positive changes from our leaders, our fellow citizens, and especially ourselves. This isn't negotiable – NOW is the time.
13. Slow down.
Stop. Breathe. Look around you. Breathe again! Smile. Laugh. Absorb the things you love that make you happy and let go of everything else. For this, you will never feel regret.
14. Spread only light.
My final New Year's resolution for our world for this year is that we try to spread only that which is good, true, and pure in our short time on earth, allowing us to help and serve the other life forms around us. That is the only legacy that matters.
15. Understand the difference between real life and renderings of life.
We’re all guilty of it to some degree: scanning internet headlines, social media posts, and the nightly news and then forming our entire world view accordingly. We might even become frustrated, angry and isolating when others don't agree. But these incomplete snippets of information aren't the real thing, only extremely incomplete and biased representations, or, as they say, a case of the tail wagging the dog. Accepting these as the "way things are" or calcifying your global opinion based on them is not only polarizing and inaccurate, it's dangerous (as we've seen with recent events.)
16. Be content with what we have.
They say that the secret to true happiness is realizing that what you have is enough. Many people around the world intrinsically know this, and therefore live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives despite poor or difficult circumstances. But in the West, and particularly in the U.S., it seems that the more we have, the more we want (and the more single-minded we become about getting it.)
Trust me when I tell you that the freedom to live a happy life serving your highest purpose comes with less, not more.
17. Live our highest purpose.
That leads me to my last New Year’s wish for the world in 2017: that we endeavor to live our highest purpose. In fact, I’m pretty sure we weren’t put on earth to work, pay bills, buy things, stress, rush, amass more possessions, live in maximum comfort, anesthetize yourself from the world, and then try our damndest to pass this all down to the next generation.
So what are we here for?
That’s the question that will take a lifetime for us to answer, and I wrestle with it at least as much as everyone else. But just the pursuit of such a noble question leads us to some amazing places and, in my humble opinion, a better world for 2017.