1. Race does NOT exist.
It's not biological. It's not even real. The labels we use are absolutely ridiculous and we only use them because we want to feel comfortable and we want to label someone and put them in their particular box.
Ex:" You are white." You are telling a person they are a color, not a race. Race does not exist. Our classifications consist of colors and continents (Asian, European, African). Those just indicate where we come from not who we are, and most of the time, where we come from is not how we identify.
2. Culture can not be owned and does not strictly belong to someone or a group.
Culture is always changing and evolving but it does not belong to anyone. It originates from a group or a person, yes, but it's not theirs. People identify it and hone in on it, but it is not their property. This does NOT give you the excuse to appropriate culture. Understand where the practice of the culture came from and celebrate it that way. It is not your right to evolve the culture or practice without giving the culture respect.
In sum, culture originates and evolves.
3. Just because today is sunny, doesn't mean tomorrow will be too. Climate change is real; pollution is only growing.
Start using public transportation more. Get a bike. There are so many places to bike too and it will help you stay in shape with all those getting fit new years resolutions. Push for renewable energy in your living space. It will only save you money in the long run and will help the earth.
Please refrain from using plastic as much as you can. If you do, do your best to try to find alternatives and reuse the plastic. There are SO many resources for you to understand how to recycle plastic in your dorm room and at home, so there's really no excuse. Your plastic hurts animals in the ocean. It hurts those in the sky. It hurts those on land. Especially if you eat seafood and meat, you may want to reconsider and understand that you're harming your own food source!
4. Go dark.
By dark, I mean the darknet. Your privacy is not protected. Google, Amazon, and Facebook (and many more) are relentless companies who data mine and sell as much as they can without you knowing. Your bank passwords, your interests, your children--everything is up for grabs. Nothing is protected. There is only an illusion.
How do you go dark?
Install a VPN on your phone, laptop, and all other devices. (This allows your internet history to never be tracked and your internet service provider to be clueless about your history).
Change your search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo for unbiased results from all over the world.
If you want to go further, use operating systems like TOR or Linux to get access to the rest of the internet that is under the surface. (and NO, it's not illegal activity or crimes, etc, whatever you think, it's actually much safer. Don't believe me? Click here to watch this amazing TED talk that will change your mind. )
5. Civility is not and should not be dead.
Public Discourse Blog
It's a simple formula that will help you be a better person with an open mind. People have stopped holding doors for each other. Everyone is now plugging in their headphones and isolating themselves. The least you can do is be nice and be kind. Say Thank you and Please every single chance you get. Don't miss an opportunity. Hold the door open. Pick up that trash on the street in front of you. Help the person who dropped their pen. And do it every. single. day. And realize that there are people who don't have the luxury around you for clean streets, for the chance to be polite, so take it into account.
Keeping these reminders in mind and acting on them, you are sure to be a new person with a new mind--a person you will truly love--in 2019.