Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012 5:58:24 AM
December 21st, 2012 has crawled past, and the world is still intact. We are approaching 2013, and all seems well. Despite the holiday spirit hanging in the air, however, issues around the world remain in existence. While some people have joked about the Mayan calendar counting down to one billion views of Gangnam Style, I have been thinking about how it may have counted down towards something else. In an age where iPhones are toted as achievements of mankind, I believe that we need to start paying more attention towards our constitutions as individuals and as a whole.
It is true that time is the most direct measure and presentation of history and life, but more evidence exists in how civilizations and mankind have physically changed. Humanity has come a long way, from the days where smoke signals were the norm for communication to the age of satellites and smartphones. It is startling to realize that a species that used to struggle with maintaining a form of government has formed modern corporations that control large portions of global trade. As people grow more connected with advancing technology, however, they may end up being more likely to be affected morally and socially by the actions of a few.
Tragedies happen, and once everybody learns about them, their occurrence can bring awareness to flaws present in our society. For instance, the Sandy Hook shootings happened recently and have had a large impact on the political field in various ways. The fact that a lone gunman was able to slaughter 26 children and teachers in the span of a few minutes is shocking and raises an important question: How can today’s society, with its sophistication and millennia of development, still be host to such deplorable acts?
I realized in the wake of the incident that science and technology are not enough to make the members of humanity the best they can be. Our social problems depend on whether we are willing to evaluate ourselves and change accordingly. Mankind needs to pay more attention to the forces of morality and integrity, and every person needs to take action to improve oneself in a moral sense and assume responsibility. 2012, contrary to popular belief, is not the end of the world to the Mayans. It is a new start for them, and it should be for us too. As members of society, we are responsible for our improvement and well-being as a whole. We need to build a different future than the one we are aiming for now. The first step is to communicate this goal with each other; we are far from the days of campfire socials, and should use the technology we have right now for positive efforts. Next, we should all make individual contributions in some practical manner. Every effort made by a person to improve counts for everybody and leads to the overall social progression of humanity.
Before, I used to focus solely on my personal life, striving to stand out among my academic peers and maintaining a position as a newspaper editor. Now, I realize that I need to transfer my attention from my self improvement to playing my part in helping the people of my school, my community, and my society to progress in a new direction. In the year of 2013, I plan to benefit everyone around me by having them take up a different New Year’s resolution: to forge a new future, today.