Humanists inject a new lease of life into New Year’s resolutions with Resolution Revolution

‘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.

Notes

For further comment or information about Resolution Revolution, contact Andrew Copson at [email protected] or on 07534 24 8596.

Visit the Resolution Revolution website at www.resolution-revolution.org.uk.

Case studies from the pilot that are available to the press include Sandra Curtis from West Sussex who helped organise a series of free garden parties with croquet, cakes and singalong music for people with dementia; Susan Cowan who volunteered for Kidscape who now mentors a young girl in North London; and Oscar a student in Birmingham who started donating blood. The BHA also has a network of over 90 local Humanist groups across the country that would be happy to share their resolutions.

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

Why is the BHA doing it?

One of the main perspectives of the humanist approach is that individual responsibility, social cooperation and mutual respect are vital. By taking positive action, people can solve the problems of society by actively engaging with each other and basing their actions on shared human values. Human beings helping other human beings is the only help we can receive.

Additionally, the BHA sees the benefit in strong local communities where people are engaged and empowered to take action on issues that affect them. This project is one way to help build such a society.

Finally, the BHA is supporting this campaign because Humanism is about shared actions. The website is designed to be separate from the BHA’s online presence and, although run by the BHA, the materials and resources produced will be accessible to all regardless of religion or belief. In future years we will be looking to expand the reach of the project by involving many more organisations, both religious and secular.

The BHA’s vision is ‘A world where everyone lives cooperatively on the basis of shared human values and respect for human rights.’

Resolution Revolution is inclusive and open to all, regardless of religion or belief.