Thursday, December 31, 2009

What If...?

Today is the last day of 2009 and, like most years, it has brought its share of good times and bad, births and deaths, victories and challenges. Although the turning of a calendar page doesn't automatically wipe the slate clean, we always think of the "new year" as an opportunity for a fresh start, a new beginning. Yet, many (most) new year's resolutions fail even before the first week of January is over, and we find we've brought last year's baggage along with us into the new one.

BUT... What if we decided that 2010 was going to be the year: be thankful for what we have, instead of bemoaning what we lack? stop saying negative things about others, and instead look for the good in them--even those with whom we disagree? take action to DO good, instead of just talking about it? help others achieve their potential, instead of tearing them down? change ourselves, our attitudes, instead of trying to change others? seek to live in harmony with nature, instead of destroying it out of greed or ignorance? give the other person the benefit of the doubt, to check things out first-hand, instead of believing rumors, whether verbal or written, and passing them on to others? refuse to pass on to others ANYTHING we would not want passed on about ourselves?

We have a choice. We can enter the new year with the same old attitudes, the same prejudices, the same certainty that we are right and everyone else is wrong. Or, we can admit that, just maybe, we, too, are fallible human beings, subject to misunderstanding and being misunderstood, and subject to the same failings and uncertainties as others. We can choose to forgive, and enjoy the subsequent freedom from carrying those hurts around with us all the time. We can choose to learn from the lessons of the past without constantly reliving in the present the events that taught us those lessons. We can choose to let old wounds heal, without repeatedly subjecting ourselves to the same things that wounded us in the first place. We can choose to forgive ourselves when we fail to be the person we wish we were. In short, we can give ourselves and others permission to be human.

What kind of year would that be?

This coming year, I'd like to challenge you to find at least one good thing each day--one thing to be thankful for. And if you can't find anything to be glad about on a given day, you can always be glad that day is over and you can start over the next. Will you join me in this challenge? If so, please post your comments below. Let's see what kind of a year 2010 will be if we choose to look for the good in it and in each other.

Wishing all of my family and friends a happy, healthy, peaceful, safe, and uplifting new year.