This year I decided to give a little extra thought to my resolutions. I had help with this by way of a book I read. The book, by Karen Armstrong, is called, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. (I warned you, this year my blog is going to spotlight compassion.)
I liked this book so much, I tried to identify with the author-
She was a Catholic and even a nun for part of her life. I was a Catholic and knew a few nuns.
She is from England. I love England and sometimes wish that I were British.
She is a gifted writer. I am a….okay…I like to express myself with the written word. Fair?
She believes that through compassion we can save the world, and she has written wonderful books to support this ideology. I agree with her thoughts on compassion and I have read some of her books.
So maybe we’re not exactly alike but I hope through reading her book, I will become more thoughtful about my actions. I’m going to make this my first resolution of the new year. And my first step will be to start taking second tries. I’m a girl of good intentions but no follow-through.
I’ll give you a couple of examples that obviously still bother me, because I’m still dwelling on them. The first happened this year during the holidays. I called the Salvation Army and requested the name of a family that needed help with Christmas. I was going to step it up from taking the usual name off the Angel Tree. Well the lady told me she would get back to me with a name. And did she get back with me? No. And did I get back with her? No. Did I take into account that this is probably the busiest time of year for the Salvation Army and their employees? No. Did I think, well maybe they didn’t need help since they didn’t call? Maybe, even though I knew I was kidding myself.
Are you still there?
This is also going to be the year of honesty. We’re all busy and we all mess up in our lives. I did a few measly things during the holidays to try to make up for this oversight but, as I said before, it still bothers me.
Alrighty. Here we go with another example of my not taking a second try at something. A couple of years ago, a group from a church of my denomination were planning a trip to the Dominican Republic to do mission work. This church was larger than mine and had more of a chance of getting a group together. I visited the man who was planning the trip and sat by my computer waiting to hear more information from him. The trip never happened. And, as you and I both know, there could be hundreds of reasons why it didn’t happen. Did I try to find another trip I could help with? No. I’m pretty sure there are other organizations that need volunteers – even an over fifty, overweight woman with a hammer and some mediocre painting skills.
Okay, I can’t beat myself up anymore unless I go get a stiff drink and it’s about nine in the morning as I type, so, instead, let me make my point.
My point is I need to follow through a little more when things don’t happen on the first try. I had the best of intentions. I had no idea that either of these things (and many others) wouldn’t come to fruition. This year I will be a little more proactive and a little less whiny.
Karen Armstrong makes a good point about thinking about others and their lives. In being more thoughtful about my actions, I hope to be less judgmental and more compassionate to others.
So, there will be second tries and maybe thirds or fourths or even fifths. Sixths, I don’t know.
This year I will do the work it takes to be a more thoughtful person and, consequently, a more compassionate person.
Oh and another resolution – again, I will try to lose weight. It just wouldn’t be a new year without those words.
Happy New Year, a little late.