In a recent poll question, the Clarion asked readers if they were looking forward to the new year. Results were mixed, with about half voting that they see positive things happening for themselves or their community, and half predicting the coming year will be a tough one.
As a community newspaper, we make it our business to make sure our neighbors are well informed. We hope they, too, are involved in the good things strong community can foster.
Most New Year’s resolutions will look something like this: better manage the family finances, get healthier and lose weight, finish that project, reconnect with old friends, quit smoking, or perform better at work. You get the picture; we’ve all toasted them at midnight only to wonder what happened a year later.
We’d like to offer a few new resolutions you can accomplish this year that will not only make a difference personally, but also in the community. Who knows, a service-oriented resolution could change your year from “challenging” to “positive” or do the same for some one else.
Please consider these five resolutions:
■ Run for political office. The beauty of our nation is that it runs how the people want it to from the ground up. But as more and more people see the ugly side of government — lazy, spendy, inflexible — they feel less compelled to get involved and more reason to complain. In the fall, however, several positions on the area’s city councils, community councils, borough assembly and service area boards will open up. Step up and help.
■ Volunteer. The Kenai Peninsula is home to many non-profit organizations that are successful thanks to their strong volunteer base. Give your time to something you believe in whether that is a local library, food pantry or church. Even an hour a week helps.
■ Become better informed. As a newspaper we take our job to provide readers with accurate information about local events and people doing noteworthy things seriously. However, the majority of our nation is grossly underinformed about current events. An educated and well-informed person is a community asset. Seek out information and consider others’ perspectives.
■ Vote. A usual voter turnout for our community is about 20 percent. That means four out of five people would rather let everyone else decide these important issues for them. Cast a ballot, register to vote or encourage others to do both.
■ Solve a problem. Judy Fandrei’s Peninsula Spay/Neuter fund is a great example of the attitude we’d like to see spread. One person saw a problem and did what she could — behold a success that helps many people.
If you find yourself constantly saying, ‘I just wish somebody would …’ then you’ve got your opportunity. Take it.