Making a Change in the Lives of Others


By Todd A. Smith

            As we begin a New Year and a new decade, people across the world have begun or unfortunately already ended their New Year’s resolution.  Whether it is losing weight, saving money or finishing up that degree that you postponed, many enter each New Year with aspirations of improving their personal lives.

            The past decade was one of the most difficult in recent memory, from terrorist attacks and an economic recession to multiple wars and hot-button social issues. However, what would really make our lives better is not to make a New Year’s resolution that only affects us, but to make a change that would benefit all mankind and begin moving the world in a more positive direction.

            Regardless of where one stands on the issues that affected us in the previous decade, everyone has a role to play in where this country heads this decade.  Whether one volunteers for a social organization or participates in voter registration drives, the direction we take in 2010 and beyond is not just up to the politicians and judges, but can be greatly influenced by regular citizens who are eager for their voices to be heard.

            In 2008, as America was on the cusp of history, millions of citizens who had never voted before stood up and let their voices be heard and moved this country in a direction that many thought was impossible.  If regular American citizens can change the course of history for the better by electing the first minority president, than those same citizens can make a New Year’s resolution to have their voices heard on all issues.  These issues may include, the ever-growing high school dropout rate in the Black community, AIDS in the Black community and escalating violence in the inner-city.

            At the beginning of each year, everyone implements their New Year’s resolution with fervor and passion that only lasts a couple of weeks.  By Mid-January we are off that diet and those plans to re-enroll in school is postponed until the next semester. 

            What causes us to renege on those New Year’s resolutions is that as human beings our passions are more profound than we realize.  Although it’s great to shed those extra pounds and it can lead to higher self-esteem and self-worth, our real peace in life comes from helping others and making a difference in the world in which we live in.

            So as we begin getting accustomed to saying 2010 (twenty-ten) instead of 2009 (two thousand nine) let us get accustomed to making a difference in the lives of others being our New Year’s resolution. 

            Many called the first decade of the new millennium the decade from hell but it is up to us, everyday citizens, not just the elite of our society to make a change for a more heavenly future.  However, it is up to us to look beyond things that will only improve our own lives and begin implementing New Year’s resolutions that will make the world we live in better for generations to come.


Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

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