Hello out there. I did this blog post quite a while ago, but thought in today’s adversarial political and cultural environment, it might be relevant. We (okay, I!) judge others much too quickly.
Let’s try, in this new year with relatively few mistakes in it so far, to give each other the benefit of the doubt, to refuse to label somebody or some thing based on initial interactions or our preconceived notions.
What an incredible truth! (And, oh gosh, how it indicts me.)
I LOVE this short video about labeling:
2018: A Label-Free Year (at least for you and me).
This past fall term at SCAD (the Savannah College of Art and Design), where I teach composition to international students, my course topic was happiness studies.
Each week, I introduced a new question, which I told the students had the potential to make them happier–IF they took the time to ask and then answer the question.
Here are the ten questions. I challenge you to ask them to yourself whenever you need a dose of joy.
Dr. Saye’s Top Ten Happiness Questions
1. Just how important is it?
2. Do I realize that I can choose to think a thought that feels better?
3. Why do I sometimes try to control other people? That’s really not my job.
4. What do I see RIGHT NOW that is beautiful?
5. Who has helped me recently?
6. What is a good holiday memory?
7. What do I really, really love?
8. Do I realize that I can take three deep breaths right now and center myself? My breath is my life.
9. Who can I be a blessing to in the next hour or so? How can I do that?
10. Am I paying attention to NOW (and not wasting time regretting the past or worrying about the future)?
I encourage you to print these questions out, put them up some place where you can easily see them, and start asking.
Have you done so this holiday? Blessings come in SO many forms and dressings. I urge you to take a sheet of paper and number your joys. Here is a sampling of mine:
1. I had to miss my seven year-old grandson Daniel’s first piano recital earlier this week. (I was SO frustrated.) Tonight at my family’s early Christmas dinner, I walked in the door and daughter Amy had arranged for Daniel to dress back up in his Calvin Klein suit and play Jingle Bells (as he did at the recital). It melted my heart.
(Okay, I’m not sure about the sunglasses either.)
(Absolute grandfather joy.)
Here’s Daniel at the actual recital:
2. The ability to smell Christmas.
3. Enjoying the power of silly.
4. Hosting a Holiday and Hot Toddy Chili Party Saturday night.
Good buddies Ellie, Jamie and Brennan.
I read “A Cup of Christmas Tea” to the twenty-something guests–and asked them to think about a person important in their upbringing to toast at the end of the story. I urge you to do the same. Who encouraged you along your way?
“Let’s raise a cup of Christmas cheer, to family and loved ones far and near.”
So take a few moments, and with Bing, count your blessings:
5. Tree shadows on a wall during a walk the other night.
What are a few of your Holiday Blessings? Come on, share a few.