Making resolutions for the new year

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2005

We’re facing another New Year’s Day this weekend and all thoughts go toward resolutions.

Like most people, I seldom make them, and seldom keep the ones I do make.

But I’ve been thinking lately about what I would like to see this coming year – not just for me, but in my community, the country, and even the world.

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So, I began to compile a list of things that might make good collective resolutions.

How about seeing our troops come home from Iraq and Afghanistan? That would be a great resolution for President Bush to make to the country.

In fact, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has kind of made a resolution already in that regard. It was announced earlier this week that the United States will carry out planned withdrawals of American troops in Iraq in regions where Iraqi forces can maintain security against the insurgents.

The current force of 160,000 could drop to below 138,000 by March 2006.

But, in order for that to happen, a lot of other resolutions would have to be made and kept. Things like bomb-free elections. No more kidnappings of foreign civilians. An end to the build-up of nuclear weapons.

How about an end to mass murders in African countries.

In general, what we’re looking for here is Peace on Earth.

Speaking of Africa, how about dumping every extra dollar we have into finding a solution for the AIDS epidemic. That would be a great resolution, wouldn’t it?

In the past year, more than 3.1 million people worldwide died from AIDS, and 570,000 were children, according to the One campaign.

Every day in Africa, HIV/AIDS kills 6,300 people, 8,500 people are infected with the HIV virus and 1,400 newborn babies are infected during childbirth. There are groups working to get those infected with the disease the medications they need to survive. And those groups need help.

How about a resolution to end hunger in the world? At a time when we spend like we do, and have all we have, is there any reason one person should go hungry?

And, yet more than 840 million people in the world are malnourished – 799 million of them live in the developing world, according to CARE.

More than 153 million of the world’s malnourished people are children under the age of 5.

Six million children under the age of 5 die every year as a result of hunger.

If you think there’s nothing you can do, there’s lots of organizations out there that are trying to make a difference: Habitat for Humanity International, World Vision, Heifer International, Samaritan’s Purse and CARE, just to name a few.

Looking at this list, it seems like making resolutions to exercise or eat healthier would be pretty easy to keep.

Whatever your resolutions, Happy New Year and best wishes for a safe and healthy 2006.

TAMMY LEYTHAM is editor of The Selma Times-Journal.