Our nation thrives when diverse individuals come together to improve their communities. The new year is an important time to reflect upon the role of nonprofits—and civil society leaders—in strengthening communities and helping the disadvantaged.
With each new year, many Americans take time to reflect and then resolve to better themselves or improve their personal habits: eat healthier, exercise more, save money, or get a new job—the list goes on. If you are one of the 80 percent of people who are likely to fail at your New Year’s resolution, you know that breaking bad habits and creating new habits can be a difficult and frustrating endeavor.
Now imagine you grew up in an environment where your circumstances didn’t provide a role model in your family or community to help you build those core habits and virtues: the importance of self-respect, the value of self-discipline, and the rewards of honesty and personal responsibility. How much harder would it be to keep those New Year’s resolutions?
Unfortunately, too many Americans today grow up in families and neighborhoods struggling with poverty, violence, drug addiction, criminal activity, and other challenges. These circumstances often preclude one from learning those habits and behaviors that are essential building blocks, which form the foundation of a healthy and successful life.
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