Here we are at the end of an eventful (to say the least) year. I don’t know about you, but my New Year’s resolutions tend to be the same every year, without much success. So instead maybe we should think about how we can make better choices and be better people. Here I’ll give you my best advice, Hopeful that you’ll find my pearls of wisdom useful.
Choosing a Career
Back when I was an idealist 17-year-old, I was struggling with all that was wrong in the world and how I might try to change it. My boyfriend from that time is long gone, but his advice stayed with me. Pick your corner of the world and work on it. This works equally well for choosing a career and dealing with the political fallout of the last year. Let’s work to make our own backyards be microcosms of the kind of country we want to live in.
This advice is my own. Marriages are successful when you can live with the other person’s faults. Choose well.You may convince them to try Thai food, but you will never change who they essentially are. When it comes to faults, make sure you are the one judging. I have found that friends’ spouses have faults I’d never be able to stand, while my husband’s quirks would be deal breakers for them.
Not married? Here’s one from my mother. There are many worse things than never getting married.
My parents strongly felt that a parent’s job is to raise children who are secure enough and independent enough to survive without them. We want our kids to grow up happy and we sometimes try to give them that happiness instead of helping them create lives that make them happy. Teach your kids how to live without you.
This next one came as teaching advice, but as parents, we are teachers too. Be careful what you teach because somebody might learn it. What you say is only part of what you’re teaching your kids. Everything they see you do is also a lesson for them. This also relates back to making your kids independent. If you step in to help them too often, you are sending them the message that they can’t handle things themselves. Be careful what you teach because somebody might learn it.
Living a Good Life
In this day and age, social media is front and center in many of our lives. My daughter shared this insight with me. Social media only shows a highlight reel of people’s lives. When you look on Facebook or Instagram and see picture after picture of smiling, happy, successful people, it’s easy to feel that your life is somehow less. Remember that those people have just as many moments they didn’t choose to share. If you start to feel envious of someone, picture all your problems as drops in a bucket. Then ask yourself, would you want to trade your bucket of problems for theirs?
Last I’ll share a quote attributed to Ian Maclaren. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Kindness is easy when others are kind as well. When you meet someone who is angry or resentful or rude, it’s easy to reply in kind. Instead remember that their anger, resentfulness, or rudeness are likely masking unhappiness. Be kind, always.
I hope you’ll share your best advice in the comments below.