There are few things as promising as the dawning of a new year. As the calendar flips from December 31 to January 1, everything will be reset. We make resolutions in an effort to be better. A new year holds the promise of adventures and experiences as well as milestones and celebrations.

Spring is the season when nature starts to bloom anew, but for the people, New Year’s Day heralds all that is bright and new and unexplored. For most people anyway.

There is no getting around the fact that not everyone will celebrate a new year, because for them it will look much like the previous year.  Many people will continue to struggle with finances, living situations and more. People who don’t live the great American lifestyle don’t always have a choice. They should not be judged. For those in need who ask for help should receive it, not just from some bureaucracy but from their fellow man.

We judge when we are intolerant of other’s life style, life choice or ideology. That intolerance begets isolation, bias and injury.

Our world has become a society in which too many people feel they’ve been given the permission to  attack, verbally and physically,  those who are different. That includes the bullying of children, whether it is in person or cyber. It is not nearly enough to just express the sentiment that everyone should get along—that’s too simplistic. It takes action from all corners; society must make intolerance shameful.

We can take the tools of other messages—ribbons—to take a stand, locally, against intolerance. Tying orange-colored ribbons to our trees, wearing orange-colored ribbons on our chests will create curiousity and questioning from neighbors, friends and strangers. When asked what the ribbon is for we can say it is to promote tolerance amongst and between people, here in Keizer and around the globe.

Judging less and tolerating difference is a good resolution for each of us to make. It will make the new year better and more promising, even here in our little corner of the world.

  —LAZ