Durham author: Resolve to help others

Posted January 2, 2015

Losing weight and getting in shape always top the list of New Year's resolutions. But have you ever thought about resolving to help someone else?

"I think a lot of the resolutions are all about us. So I have been thinking what would it be like if our resolutions were about others," Durham author Margot Starbuck said.

"Maybe you decide next summer I am going to mow my neighbors lawn four times. Or maybe you say whenever a friend moves this year, I will physically help them move," she suggests.

Starbuck says the new year is also a great time to slim down your piles of stuff. She was inspired by a minimalist to give up 1,000 possessions.

"It has just sort of been a lighter, freer way of living," she said. "I've really enjoyed it. My time and energy are more free for the things that matter to me."

And giving things away can also mean giving to others. 

"It can be donating it, recycling it and finding someone in your neighborhood who can use it," she said.

Starbuck recommends donating books you read for pleasure and replacing them with more purposeful reading.

"This year my son and I were reading a book about a boy who lives in poverty in India," she said. "It's just been so fruitful for us in our reading to begin to understand the experience of somebody else that is not like our own."

Or your could resolve to really get to know the ordinary people in your life.

"That could be the waitresses at your favorite restaurant, the cashier at the grocery store, maybe the custodian where you work that become almost the furniture of our lives and beginning to notice them and both learn their names and found out who they are," she said.

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  • beaupeep Jan 5, 2015

    Maybe she should resolve to stop suggesting how others should run their life and mind her own business.