Our New Year resolutions often seem to have a lot to do with what we want for ourselves. According to Google search statistics, the #1 New Year resolution at the start of 2017 was "Get healthy." The #2 New Year resolution was "Get organized." The next three resolutions had to do with learning new hobbies, living life to the fullest, and saving money.
I wonder if the individualistic and self-centered spirit of most resolutions on January 1 is the reason most of them fail by January 8. For instance, if "self" is at the center of a resolution to "eat better" in 2018, it won't be long until that same "self" falls for the instant gratification of eating poorly.
Most of the time, we set our New Year resolutions in isolation or we barely mention them even once to family and friends. When the self that wants instant gratification confronts the self that set the resolution, nobody else is around to come to the rescue.
So I wonder if it would make a difference to ourselves and to those around us if we made New Year resolutions a community exercise. What if each of us made a resolution to do something for the people and places around us? What if we brought family, friends, and neighbors together to share in it? In short, what if we made our New Year resolutions about us instead of me?
I think that's really the function of Voices for Earth Justice. When we're at our best, we are a community that encourages and supports personal efforts to practice Earth justice. In other words, if you resolve to be a better steward of the Earth and a neighbor to all those who live here, Voices for Earth Justice should be able and ready to help you do it.
Yet another way to put it: If you resolve to use your voice to make a difference, Voices for Earth Justice should be what amplifies and broadcasts it. How? By joining your voice to the harmony of thousands of other voices calling for Earth justice.
I think you can now see my New Year resolution for Voices for Earth Justice.
As executive director, I resolve that Voices for Earth Justice will move our society closer to Earth justice by giving you information, a support network, and tools to amplify your own voice. If you resolve to practice "everyday Earth justice" in 2018, Voices for Earth Justice will help you do it with people who lift their voices with yours in shared resolution.
To that end, my focus in 2018 will be on making our programs as practical and useful to you as possible. I want to make it easy and enjoyable for you to discover and learn about Earth justice--and then put it into practice and share it with the people and places around you. I want to make it simple for you to make the difference you want to make.
In January, I'm going to share an outlook and plans for how Voices for Earth Justice will amplify your voice and support your Earth justice resolutions in 2018.
As I write this on December 28, we are less than $1,500 from our year-end fundraising goal of $10,000. Our philosophy at Voices for Earth Justice is to "operate small, impact big." We believe we can make a big difference without growing a big organization. In dollar terms, that means that our $10,000 year-end campaign will fully fund one-fifth of our entire operation and programs for one year.
What does that means to you? It means that just as Voices for Earth Justice exists to amplify your voice, we also amplify your dollar. The dollar you give to Voices for Earth Justice does far more because it is a bigger part of our small budget.
Since we've already raised more than $8,500 in December, we only have about $1,500 to go before January 1. Your year-end gift today will make a huge difference.
So, make a resolution to use your voice for Earth justice in 2018. Then, make a gift to Voices for Earth Justice today. We'll amplify your dollar and your voice in the New Year.
Onward and upward!
BT Irwin, executive director
The light is coming.
Yes, when the cold is coldest and the dark and darkest, believe: The light is coming.
We celebrate that hope of light returning when we observe the Winter Solstice.
Indeed, light is the focal point of our December holidays, regardless of the faith to which we hold. We light candles, homes, or trees for more than just aesthetics or utility. These little lights in the darkness of December are expressions of faith and reminders of hope.
We strive for Voices for Earth Justice to be a constellation of "little lights" where darkness and death are felt most in this world.
You're one of those "little lights." Among the other "little lights" that make up Voices for Earth Justice, you're part of a constellation of faith, hope, and love. Your light reminds people who feel lost in the darkness that hope is here and love is now.
But your light also gives them hope that hope and love are still coming yet. That hundreds, thousands, millions of "little lights" together will eventually drive away the darkness of abuse, exploitation, neglect, and oppression.
Your light, taken together with so many other "little lights," is the most convincing evidence yet that a day will come when justice will cover the Earth.
Thank-you for being a "little light" among many "little lights." You and people like you are Voices for Earth Justice.
And because "little lights" need energy themselves to keep shining in the darkness, we at Voices for Earth Justice wish you more light and warmth than you could ask or imagine this holiday season.
Grace and peace,
BT Irwin, executive director
P.S. You can help keep our light shining in 2018 by making a tax-deductible donation to our year-end giving campaign. As of today (December 21), we've raised more than $8,000 toward our $10,000 goal. Please make your online donation here. Thank-you!