This Year

This article originally appeared in the Arizona Conference Shepherdess newsletter.


How to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge and replace it with some pleasant memories. Share a funny story with someone whose spirits are dragging.

Vow not to make a promise you don't think you can keep. Pay a debt. Give a soft answer. Free yourself of envy and malice. Encourage some youth to do his or her best. Share your experience and offer encour­agement. Make a real effort to stay in closer touch with family and good friends. Resolve to stop magnifying small problems and shooting from the lip.

Find the time. All of us have the same allotment-24 hours a day. Give a compliment. It could make someone's day. Think things through. Forgive an injustice. Listen more. Apologize when you realize you were wrong. An apology never diminishes a person. It elevates him. Don't blow your own horn. If you've done something praiseworthy, someone will notice sooner or later.

Try to understand a point of view that is different from your own. Few things are 100 percent one way or another. Examine your demands on others. Lighten up. Take a quiet walk alone when you feel like blowing your top. Laugh the loudest when the joke is on you.

The sure way to have a friend is to be one. We are all connected by humanity and our need for one another. Avoid malcontents and pessimists. They drag you down and contribute nothing. Be kind. Be gentle. Don't discourage a beginner from trying something risky. Nothing ventured means nothing gained. Be optimistic. The can-do spirit is the fuel that makes things go. Go to war against animosity and complacency. Express your gratitude. Read some­thing uplifting. Don't abandon your old-fashioned principles. They never go out of style. When courage is needed, ask yourself, "If not me, who? If not now, when?"

Return those books you borrowed. Reschedule that missed dental appointment. Clean out your closet. Take those photos out of the drawer and put them in an album. If you see litter on the sidewalk, pick it up instead of walking over it.

Get real. Phoniness is transparent as well as tiresome. Take pleasure in the beauty and the wonders of nature. A flower is God's miracle. Walk tall. Look people in the eye. Don't be bound by superstition and fear. Smile more. You'll look 10 years younger. Don't be ashamed to say, "Have a good day."

Don't be afraid to say, "I love you." Say it again. Say it still one more time. They are the sweetest words in the world.