As I write this, we are are preparing to enter this new, man-made demarcation of time known as 2018. As the poem goes:
30 days hath September, April, June, and November
All the rest have 31
Except in February with just 28 and 29 in leap year.
Mercifully that insanity won’t happen for another three years.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we even decided to remain on Standard Time throughout the years going forward instead of this “Daylight Savings Time” which is just another man-made fiction. Otherwise known as man controlling time.
But let us remember with all this man-made time control, all that changes is the date – 01/01/18… That is, unless we take action to change our lives, to change who we see ourselves as, to change how others see us.
The Past is … The Past
The past is done, finished, over.
The actions we have taken over the course of our lives are indelible history. Some of those actions may be smart, some foolish, some incredibly stupid. We can be look back over them emotionally with great mourning and sorrow. Or we can take solace in our learned maturity and review those experiences to gain insight in how to act in our future.
We may hold within our minds beautiful, precious memories. Those memories may be of family, friends, business partners, passing acquaintances or complete strangers. But each of those memories can always be reminisced over with those same individuals or with new people for whom we want to introduce our larger world.
The Future is Opportunity
Every new day is a new opportunity. It is the opportunity to grow, to develop, to mature based on what we are exposed to and how we draw from our past experience in our decision-making. Indeed, when we move forward, our past cannot, should not, be a millstone, a drain, or a weight. In fact, we need to recognize the “things” of our past that have no value in our New Year, in our Future.
What are these things? Simply put, these are the aspects of our prior life – our old actions, our old beliefs, our old thinking – that corrupt us, tear us away from the moral, the ethical, the traditional, fundamental and foundational strengths that have kept us from Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
To many, those previous two paragraphs may appear paradoxical on the surface. But the reality is that we have wandered far from our learned maturity in this last decade. We have blindly sought out what feels right for the moment. We have ignored established history under the presumption that it is no longer needed. We have created a fictional world based on our thoughts of the moment. Then, when we find ourselves deeper in trouble, we lash out at those who offer corrective help. We choose to be shrill banshees completely stupid to the learned teachings found in our past.
In fact, we claim to ourselves that somehow we will be the ones to “change the world”. Yet, many of us refuse to even make an effort to change our own behaviors that cause the many untenable situations in which we find ourselves. We claim that we can live in the here and now and control and influence our beings. But do we? Or do we blame others for our own stupidity? The harsh reality we do not want to admit to each year is that we have the ability to be the captain of our own ship and, ultimately, attain a fulfilling and healthy destiny based on the Truth already established for us to draw from by those who have lived before us. But if we do that we must admit, too, that we do not know everything. And in that admission, we also admit our insignificance in this larger world. And we must also admit that we are not as “perfect” as we want to think of ourselves as being.
Caring For Ourselves
Our “future” self is built day by day. We are built by how we respond – not react, respond – to the experiences we have each day. Our lives are changed each second by the decisions we make in those seconds. Those decisions can be adjusted by drawing from history, from our own experiences, our memories and thinking objectively to identify the best practice to pursue. This is not about worrying how our friends will perceive us. This is about making a definitive decision based in moral, ethical, fundamental thought.
When we look to help and advance ourselves, when we seek to keep ourselves safe, we are not being selfish. We are building ourselves and our future. When we pursue new opportunities that we have researched and confirmed to be healthy, beneficial and valuable, we are not being selfish. We are developing a history from which we will be able to draw in the future.
Caring for Others
Only when we have made ourselves healthy and strong are we able to adequately help others. As Christ states emphatically in Matt.7:5,
- You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Certainly we can and should seek to help others. We can and should aid the less fortunate than ourselves. But our effort needs to be in building up our own strength.
Moreover, we need to be alert to exactly what that “caring” or “help” that others need actually is. It is not about throwing cash at a person. If all “caring” was that simple, there would be no problem anywhere in the world given all the financial capital available.
But, in fact, the reality is entirely different. Looking at ourselves we see the magnitude of difference. While one of us may need money, there are others who need to be heard, others need compassion, still others need something as simple as a voice confirming they are loved and respected as a human being.
Which leads us back to the reality that unless we take action to change our lives, to change who we see ourselves as, to change how others see us, all we are doing is changing the date.
Beyond Just Resolutions…
So to all who read this:
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! I wish you all the best in 2018!
Let us bid farewell to all our actions and memories made in 2017. Let us focus on the new beginnings and opportunities in 2018! To do this, use 10 minutes of today to set five goals for yourself to attain in this New Year. Then spend the next 365 days focused on attaining each one them!
As said to Moses by the Lord in Num.6:24-26,
The LORD bless you and keep you:
The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you:
The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.