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Honoring a New Year

Two thousand fourteen has arrived, and with it comes an assortment of hopes, expectations, and dreams we mentally construct.  So, in honor of the New Year, here are fourteen thoughts to consider.


  1. Exercise patience whenever possible, we never fully know the burdens other people carry.
  2. Let go of bitterness.  As recently deceased Nelson Mandela once said, “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
  3. Be happy for small pleasures.  In retrospection, they could hold greater value than large ones.
  4. Try something new.  Should you do the enterprise well, great!  If you don’t, feel good about your attempts (and do it anyway if you enjoy it).
  5. If it doesn’t hurt anyone, brings you happiness, and puts an added spring in your step, go for it.  We should reward ourselves every now and then.
  6. Enjoy the moment, whether it’s a baby’s smile, loved one’s accomplishment, or animated interaction with a neighbor.  After all, these are the things memories are made of.
  7. Be kind.  Few people get intrinsic pleasure from being harsh, but many feel uplifted when they are considerate of others.
  8. Remember that actions teach more effectively than words.  Thus, live the example you wish to impart.
  9. Remain dignified.  Mimicking negative behavior will neither even the score nor make you feel better.
  10. Go the extra mile.  Even if others fail to recognize your efforts, you will know.
  11. Give back.  In the short term, it might seem taxing.  In the long-term, the rewards are immeasurable.
  12. Cry if you feel the need.  Sometimes we just need to get it out and then everything seems fresh again.
  13. Forgive yourself.  Everyone makes mistakes: we can’t assume it will not happen to us.
  14. Pray, meditate, or set periods aside for calm: it nourishes the psyche.


Every person enters the New Year with imperfections.  Nonetheless, growth is possible no matter what our age.  Therefore, make 2014 a very good year, and remember we are the ones who fashion our own happiness.

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