Happy new year! It’s nice to read my Facebook friends’ resolutions for 2020, most being losing weight, being nicer, and being more responsible. While these are all great and valid goals, what if we strived for that better self? Some called it self-actualization during the 1980s while others gave it a more religious overtone. But in the end, what could we do to make 2020 a better start to a new decade?
It seems that the world has taken a huge step backwards, which trickles down to all facets of life. In my naiveté, I thought as we moved into a new century, that we would have learned by past mistakes, historical or personal! But history always seems to repeat itself. What if we strive to actually be better people, which would mean sticking up for the underdog, not gossiping and spreading false information or rumors to make yourself feel more important but actually to do something that matters. Social media seem to have taken over most people’s senses and logical thinking. (That will be for another article) but I digress. What if we didn’t discriminate within our own community? What if we didn’t ignore the neighbor abusing his/her child or pet? What if we took that daring step instead of simply posting or reposting on Facebook? During the early 90s the best slogan, coming out of the AIDS epidemic was Action = Life / Silence = Death. and what if we applied that towards our goals to be that better person? What if we put forth that effort into supporting each other, supporting those in need and not condemning those we don’t understand? What if we actually sat and researched what that meant before chiming in to see if what do or repost is correct? What if we did act kinder and not spread rumors or gossiped to hurt someone else? What if we sat down with that “friend” and said, “Hey, your behavior isn’t flattering to you”? What if we worked to be that better person or friend? While this might seem cryptic, think about what you can do to be a better person. Think about if you were to die tomorrow, what legacy would you have left? What would your friends have said about you? How would you have been regarded? A good deal of people tends to not understand the differences between “aggressive” and “assertive” behaviors. Then of course there is the third: passive behavior. People who tend toward the passive are liable to become the scapegoat and never obtains their goals. Assertive behavior obtains goals by honesty, not hurting or stepping on anyone. And those whose dominant trait is aggressive behavior, tend to care less whom they hurt, use, or destroy to get what they want. Be the assertive behavior! Be the best person you can be. Happy new year!
- Gary Schwartz is a composer, musician, counselor, writer, performer. Double majored in Behavioral Psychology and Music Composition. Worked as counselor through Whitman Walker Clinic, Gay Men's Counseling Collective, Hospice of Frederick County, Montgomery County Health Department and Frederick County Department of Social Services as Adult Foster Care. Gary currently teaches private piano, voice and composition and just finished his 19th year performing at MDRF!