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  • Jenn Jones

Community, Not Commodities: Rethinking Resolutions for 2024

Embracing the dawn of a new year often heralds the chorus of "New year, new you," accompanied by a barrage of advertisements promising happiness, health, and beauty through the latest products. Before-and-after images flash across screens, each whispering, "This could be you," urging us to strive harder, to 'do the work.' Yet, year after year, we find ourselves chasing elusive fulfillment in external possessions, falling prey to companies capitalizing on our discontent.

Amidst the clamor of these pursuits, it's easy to lose sight of a fundamental truth: true happiness and wholeness don't reside in material acquisitions but flourish within the embrace of a supportive community. In an era of burgeoning epidemics, loneliness stands out as a pervasive challenge. Our increasingly individualized existence, with heads bowed to screens, has hindered genuine conversations, impeding the forging of meaningful connections and friendships. In our relentless pursuit of perfection, we swipe endlessly, failing to recognize the humanity in the person right in front of us.

The pressure to conform to society's ideals of happiness, wholeness, and health often manifests in the allure of the newest beauty products or the latest 'miracle diet' to fit this year's newest beauty standards. However, the quest for these elusive qualities lies not in the aisles of consumerism but in the shared experiences and connections we cultivate with one another.

A stark reality unfolds—capitalism thrives on the cycle of consumerism, perpetuating a system where the rich amass wealth while we find ourselves buried in debt and stress. This realization prompts a personal commitment to a different path this year—a year of mindful consumption, prioritizing second-hand choices over brand new purchases. It's a conscious effort to defy the pressures of relentless buying and, instead, focus on nurturing connections and cherishing existing relationships.

In the upcoming months, let's challenge the status quo and redefine what it means to truly thrive. Happiness, wholeness, and health are not commodities to be bought but treasures discovered in the richness of shared experiences and genuine human connections. As we embark on this journey, may our focus shift from the allure of material possessions to the enduring satisfaction found in fostering meaningful relationships.

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