The New Year inspires people to study harder, diet and exercise, spend less and save more and avoid bad habits.
But let's face it: These goals often serve one person — and maybe his or her household.
When we do something positive for someone outside our home, particularly in our community, we set off a chain reaction.
Last Wednesday, guest columnist Jenni Perkins, senior development and communications manager of Covenant Hospice, Okaloosa & Walton Counties, asked our readers to consider volunteering for Covenant Hospice.
She knows the score: "When people think about volunteering for hospice, their first thought may be, 'I could never do that,' or 'I would be too depressed,'" she wrote.
That hit home.
About four years ago, I was editor of The Daphne Bulletin and Spanish Fort Sun in Alabama when a Covenant Hospice representative asked if I wanted to join the organization's Community Advisory Board.
I took a few days to mull the idea and, fearing the unknown, politely declined the invitation. And regretted that decision.
Since then, my brother lived and studied in Italy to become a priest. That's why my family took a trip to Rome, the Amalfi Coast and other locations. Spending time in these ancient areas, which held such significance to my heritage, left an impression. It instilled a firm connection between the past and present. It provided a sense of purpose I lost, perhaps, when my father died 10 years prior.
My brother's selflessness and willingness to find the bright side of any situation also was inspiring.
Fast forward a few years, throw in some enlightenment and a move to Florida and I'm no longer the editor who stays cloistered in his office.
Community involvement ranges from volunteering to simply getting out more. It means managing our various charitable efforts, whether we're collecting for Sharing and Caring or other nonprofits. I'm networking with the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce's Professional and Inspired Leaders of Tomorrow; representing the News Bulletin at each chamber breakfast; serving as Relay For Life Crestview's publicity chair; and — yes, I'm happy to say — I've accepted an invitation to serve on Covenant Hospice's Community Advisory Board.
Hopefully, to help that organization with its mission. Hopefully, on a personal note, to right a wrong from four years ago.
Really, it was a sin of omission.
Now, it's one of my many New Year's resolutions.