'Resolution Revolution', a new initiative from the British Humanist Association (BHA), is an exciting way to help make sure that we all make the most of next year and get involved in the things that are important to us by making a new kind of resolution, one with a twist, and resolving to do something for someone else in 2012. It can be simply baking a cake for an elderly neighbour or relative, or coaching a sport, or helping out at a club for young people, or giving blood - what better way to share and be involved in society? Lots more ideas, including some from Al Murray, Ed Byrne and Richard Herring, and the simple steps to help everyone see their resolution through can be found at www.resolution-revolution.org.uk.
By doing things for others and getting involved in things that we care about not only can we learn new skills and meet new people, but it seems we will also be happier in ourselves. Speaking in support of the initiative, Professor Emeritus Lord Layard, from the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics said that 'There is compelling evidence that people who do more for others also feel better themselves'. And research by pharmacologist and author Dr David Hamilton, who also supports the initiative, shows that kindness is good for us – there is a positive chemical impact on our bodies from being kind. These acts cause the release of the hormone oxytocin which reduces blood pressure and slows down the ageing process, helping us stay healthy for longer. Therefore it seems that a simple act of doing something for others really is a win-win and can make us healthier too!
Noted philosopher, former doctor and distinguished supporter of Humanism Professor Raymond Tallis describes Resolution Revolution as ‘A great social action initiative which anyone can take part in. The more people that get involved, even in a very small way, the bigger the impact will be. The New Year is the perfect time to make a change in order to make a difference.’
But more than just liking the idea, to make it work we have got to be significant in 2012 and get involved. In challenging times rolling up our sleeves and participating in the things that matter to us is a great way to make sure that we are all worth it.