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A Promise For A Better New Year



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The New Year has begun, bringing with it hopes and resolutions meant to erase the folly of the previous year (or years). It is an annual event, celebrated in this part of the world by the turning of the Gregorian Calendar page from December to January.

Cups bubbled over New Year’s Eve, 2014 released with the pop of a cork or the 141-foot plunge of the 11,875-pound Waterford crystal-encrusted sphere in Times Square. Without a doubt, more than one person turned to the other and promised…

In the light of day, it is easy to squander promises made, particularly if they entail personal deprivation. They are still easier to disregard when they call for a change in attitude or culture. Perhaps the New Year should be a time to examine promises made throughout the 730 days that preceded this December 31.

You might be one of  the more than 405,000 people who have made the Sandy Hook Promise to protect children from gun violence. It was easy to click on the pledge. But the promise is more than a quick visit to a website to declare you stand with those who want to prevent any other town from going through what Newtown has since 12/14.

It is a promise to take action. It is a promise to educate yourself to recognize at-risk people and how to intervene. It is a promise to teach young people to speak up if they are concerned about a perceived threat. It is a promise to educate yourself and your children on gun safety and best practices to keep firearms safe and secured. It is a promise to reach out to prevent social isolation and to connect with other humans, every day.

The Sandy Hook Promise is a promise to promote programs that bring understanding and innovation to protect children in a world where the answer to disappointment, disillusionment, and anger seems, more and more, one of violence.

We can promise to start a New Year in which we will drink less, eat healthier, exercise more, and be kinder. We might actually carry out those promises — and if we fail to do so? There is always next New Year’s Eve, to start again.

If you have Made the Promise, though, ask yourself if this is one promise on which you can follow through. Promise yourself to be proactive in a 2015 that is a safer, better world.

Make the Promise. Then, keep it.

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