Illustration By Aubrey Hirsch for TIME
Ideas
December 20, 2021 7:00 AM EST
Hirsch is the author of Why We Never Talk About Sugar, a short-story collection. Her stories, essays and comics have appeared in Vox, the New York Times, the Nib and elsewhere

The end of the year is traditionally a time for reflecting on lessons learned from the past 12 months and looking to the future with optimism. New Year’s resolutions offer us a chance to identify specific ways we can improve our lives and make concrete changes for the better. But for many of us, 2021 had more lowlights than highlights with the pandemic still raging, women’s rights being rolled back, a terrifying climate report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the economy still not working for many Americans.

It’s hard to lay down a path toward a better future when so much of what’s wrong with your present is out of your control. But perhaps we can find some motivation in helping to improve the lives of others, while working toward bigger changes where and when we can.


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