Tolerance, Kindness, Appreciation Top Resolution List

AZ Daily Star, December 30, 2018 | Go to article overview

Tolerance, Kindness, Appreciation Top Resolution List


Did you make a New Year’s Resolution last year? Forty-five percent of us did. The most common resolutions are to eat less, exercise more or spend less money. Did you keep your resolutions? Only 8 percent do.

The idea of resolutions goes back 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. They resolved to repay all debts and return borrowed objects so the gods would treat them favorably. Christians and Jews have services where they resolve to do better in the future.

I am not an expert in resolutions but I think this annual exercise is all about marking the passage of time. A year is ending and a new one is beginning. We cannot make a completely fresh start but now is a time to think about ourselves and what we would like to improve or do better from now on.

My first resolution is to concentrate on kindness. It takes so little time and effort to be kind to people. A smile instead of a frown. Using a person’s name. Making eye contact, which means putting your phone down. Modulating your voice even if you are irritated. Be kind at home. We often take family members for granted but they are people too.

And be kind to yourself. Sometimes we are so regretful of an action we should not have taken or words we should not have said that we keep beating ourselves up. Better to acknowledge we are fallible human beings and forgive ourselves. As charity begins at home so does forgiveness.

I resolve to be appreciative. This means noticing the little kindnesses of others. Don’t take loved ones or loving actions for granted. Notice, appreciate, and thank people who are being kind to you. I have come to believe that paying attention is a big part of relationships.

This year I resolve to be tolerant of others even if we are worlds apart on our views. Sadly, we are currently living in a cold Civil War. Our nation is in chaos. I know there are many people who feel my views are wrong and I certainly feel their views are wrong, but we all live in the United States of America. I resolve to watch my language. These are my fellow Americans not “the stupid opposition.” I resolve to try to find common ground. Every person needs access to affordable health care. We all must pay attention to our rural depressed areas and our crumbling infrastructure. Let’s tackle inequality and fix our schools.

I come from a poor family. My father lost his job in 1929. But I was lucky to live at a time when I could benefit from the “American Dream.” So this poor girl had an education and a privileged life. But growing up in the Great Depression meant I saw neighbors without jobs and people begging for food. I never forgot this.

So I really understand the pain and worry of those living today’s “American Nightmare.” I feel for people who cannot find a job because our world is changing. …

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