On Wednesday, June 22 Categories:

It's great to be back. Writing, that is. After a brief hiatus, I have returned to my writing with a new passion for ideas and action. Here is my list of a few actions to be taken in the New Year.

1. To be a kindler and gentler person on the environment. My good friend, Erica is always a big fan of the environment and pointed out to me the benefits of going organic, even with things as basic as shampoo. I've come to agree with her and although products that are organic, are often a little more expensive than other things, in the long run, the earth and the user will all benefit from its uses. Consider the benefits: no harsh chemicals, no testing on animals, prevention of dangerous illnesses and diseases, which many articles say, can be received by using regular shampoos.

2. Having more empathy towards others. Empathy, I believe, is one of the distinguishing things that we can have as human beings. It is often easier to react with anger towards another person, without thinking about the consequences, or realizing why this person has acted the way they have. I believe that the goal of the individual in society is to have empathy and to react with concern towards another person. The regular person is society can show empathy in every day life by not reacting with anger towards another person, whether in dealing with a driver who cut you off or a surly or rude waitress. It is easy to judge, but hard to understand what is underneath a person's skin.

3. Taking time to meditate. In our age where technology rules our world with a passion, it is often hard to tear ourselves away from things, such as the television or the Internet. We don't always take the time to breathe the air, to meditate on our good forturne, or to communicate with others. In our madness to buy the latest gadget, we don't always realize that the most important thing we have is something we cannot buy: time. The time we spend with our family is precious and yet how many of us only get to see our families once a year, or even several times a year. Precious is the time we have, and it seems that we are blinded by all the trappings that technology has given us.

4. To work less, and to spend time doing things that are meaningful. Whether it be volunteering for a cause, or finding an activity that is creative and personally satisfying, I believe that every one should have passion in one's life. To me, film-making and writing are personal passions of mine, and I feel life is more satisfying when you are doing something that is creative, and not wholly centered on work. I am always amazed when I see paintings in a local gallery done by our senior members of society. It is unfortunately too bad that it is only when we retire it seems that some of us find the time to do expressive, fulfilling things. But I believe that making time to do creative things may involve as simple a task as turning off your Internet or television for an hour or so.

5. Focus on health. How many of us eat too much fat and too much of everything? I believe that the best way to be aware of the dangers of overeating is to be mindful that it is occurring.

To conclude, I wish everyone a great New YEAR, and a year that is safe, happy, healthy and environmentally friendly.

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Cynthia Chan lives in Vancouver, Canada, and also writes a blog on http://lifesthisway.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-year-and-new-heathy-beginning.html

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