People say it, they pray for it, they sometimes even take action. Well, it's the new year and what happens every January 1st? People set out to do better. And I believe that they mean it. I believe they intend to do better.

But then what happens? January turns into February, February turns into March and so on. The complexities of life happen and we slack, we think "I'll get to it later" and then later doesn't come until the next January 1st.

I am guilty of this myself. I have always intended to be a kind person because that's who I am at my core. But I let circumstances in my life turn me cold. I blamed others for my life; there is a little truth to that. Some of the things that happened to me were no fault of mine, but the world doesn’t know that.

The World judges me on my actions. We are supposed to be taught that as children that it's not our intentions that matter, it's our actions. But who is going to teach us that? Generations of people who say, "I didn't mean to do that" or "that was not my intention"? I have had people treat me poorly and known in my gut what's right and that I should fight for it, but someone else would ask, "Sue, do you really want to waste your time with that?" Inside I would think yes, but do the opposite. That action caused me to get angrier and angrier. I was a victim of my own choices, not a victim of being treated poorly.

I was so frustrated and grumpy that the action of hope was not a possibility until I decided to take responsibility. It was time for me to take responsibility for my own excavation. I had to be responsible for my own love. I had to dig in and find it for me and for others.

You see one day I said, "Yes, I really do want to waste my time with that" and you know what that got me? Respect, and, lots of times, money. I struggle every day with how to keep my hope when such awful tragedies happen every day. And the only answer I can come up with is: I want to waste my time on it. I want to waste my time on the fight that it takes to remain hopeful. I want to wake up everyday and exert myself. I want to matter.

I also believe that the only way the world will ever change is if people start treating each other with dignity and respect. That means kids, parents, priests, criminals, exes, bosses, people who have done you so wrong you could spit. I actually think the latter are the ones who need it most. You see if you spit, you are making the world worse. If you treat them with human dignity they have nothing to push up against.

This does not mean let people walk all over you; it means look them in the eye, keep your voice low and say what you mean, mean what you say, and don't say it mean. It means exert yourself, fight the good hope fight, and don't crumble under the harshness of others.

Change takes time and in order to change, you gotta do something over and over again; you need stamina. Let's live everyday like it's January 1st.