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Musings and Memories

Take one step at a time

Doug Dezotell
Posted 1/15/22

January is that time of year that so many people make plans to change their lives, change their habits, change their bodies, and on and on and on the lists go.  

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Musings and Memories

Take one step at a time

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January is that time of year that so many people make plans to change their lives, change their habits, change their bodies, and on and on and on the lists go.  

Call them “New Year’s Resolutions.” Many people do, and so many people make their lists but tear them up when they fail to keep them.  

Someone once said, “I can’t believe it’s been a year since I didn’t become a better person.” That was spoken by someone who failed to keep their resolutions. Someone else said, “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!” Oh well, he was somewhat positive in his approach.  

A man by the name of Craig D. Lounsbrough wrote these words of wisdom, “The road ahead is not some predetermined path that I am forced to trod, but it is a rich byway that I can help create.”  

Another wise man said, “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” 

 We can fly our lives in the way we want to go. If we are going to make resolutions for a new year and succeed, we need to just step out and give them a try. Remember, we are in charge. And with God’s help we can do it.  

I like what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said about this; he said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” And then keep stepping… just one step at a time! 

We can do it. We can change. We can be strong and succeed. Strength shows not only the ability to persist, but the ability to start over.  

I had a friend in AA years ago who said, “There are days where I have to start over…over and over and over again. And that’s okay. At least I’m trying.”  

Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” New Year’s Resolutions are a lot like the Christian tradition of fasting during the Lenten Season, the 40 days leading up to Easter, where people ask one another, “What are you giving up for Lent?”  

“What are you fasting of?” It’s similar to the questions a lot of people ask at the beginning of a New Year. What are you giving up this year? What are you changing? Do you want to change your body, perhaps quit alcohol or stop smoking cigarettes, or stop eating sweets or cut back on carbs? But if you want to change your heart and become a better person, I think a harder fast is needed.  

Years back I came across a list of things that Pope Francis said we can fast from during Lent, and I think this list is good to choose from to start a brand-new year.  

Here is the Pope’s list:  

Fast from hurting words and say kind words.  

Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.  

Fast from anger and be filled with patience.  

Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.  

Fast from worries and trust in God.  

Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.  

Fast from pressures and be prayerful.  

Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy.  

Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.  

Fast from grudges and be reconciled.  

Fast from words and be silent so you can listen. (Sometimes all we need to do is listen, or just sit with that friend or loved one in silence, just be there for them.)  

The Pope said we should “Fast from hurting words and say kind words.” Here are some examples of kind words we can say to others:  

Hello! (Say it to people you are passing on the way into the store or on the street.)  

Have a good day! Have a great day! Have a blessed day! God bless you! I love you. (Say that often.)  

Good job! Please. Thank you. You make me laugh! You are so generous. I like you. I love you! You have such a beautiful smile. Your eyes twinkle! Do you need help? It’s okay… I can help you with that. Let me do that for you. I miss you. I love you. (Say it every chance you get.)  

You are so talented. I love you (Like I said, say this often.)  

God loves you. (And say this often as well.)  

Thank you for being my friend. I can listen, if you want to talk about it. You’re my hero! Like the Pope said, “Fast from hurting words and say kind words.”  

And say them every chance you get. You know, I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year! Let’s begin to plan new beginnings with renewed hope in the countless possibilities of the future. 

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