I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff online about how awful 2016 has been. Thanks to celebrity deaths, election outcomes, riots…the list goes on, social network posters are anxiously awaiting 2017 in hopes things will magically get better.
Here’s a little secret. While January 1, 2017 is a natural time to enjoy that “clean slate” feeling, it really is just one day past 2016…that year so many people seem to feel was cursed. The act of flipping a calendar page has no magic qualities unless something else changes.
- I have to listen to people whose opinions differ from mine. I mean really listen to understand, and not just listen to prepare my “gotcha” response.
- I have to remember that if someone disagrees with me, that doesn’t mean I have to hate that person. One of my favorite fellow church members and I are polar opposites when it comes to many social issues and yet, we’d do anything for each other.
- I have to seek constructive, not destructive, ways to affect change.
- I must remember Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
And so, friends, as we prepare to ring-in 2017, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
Be the change you wish to see in the world.–Mahatma Gandhi