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Be Kind. Be Generous. Be Grateful. (or Stop Being a Jerk)

Like many people, I am thinking “Its 2017 already?! How did that happen?” It is amazing how fast every year seems to fly by as it marches to the never-ending cadence of time. Time is the one thing we have no control over. It just keeps on marching along. We will blink and it will be summer. Throughout history time has continued to march on at a unrelenting pace.

2016 was a year of greatly increased social media negativity. I suppose partly due to the election process, but more due to people just being jerks. Just because you can rant doesn’t mean you should rant. Even if you were right, you were just a jerk who happened to be right.  Some people should keep their opinions on divisive topics to themselves. All their rant did was create more unnecessary drama and damage, and make them look bad in the process.

Their rant didn’t empower them, it only displayed their weakness.  It did not enhance their personhood or meaningful influence, it only lessened both.  Any dingbat can create drama. What we need are peacemakers and unifiers willing to work through hard issues together for a common good.

As we enter 2017, my plan for myself, and my wish for you in this new year is simple. Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, spend time thinking and evaluating our lives, and then that we intentionally express our gratitude and love to those in your circle of relationships. I wish you the ability to slow down enough to remember, think, and love.

As we move into 2017, I am filled with hope. I could list so many things that I see on the horizon in my personal life, my church’s life, and in the life of our community. I would not consider myself an eternal optimist, but I am filled with hope.

To boil it down to a simple thought, my hope for the new year is that we all choose to be kind, work together for the common good, and give credit to others. I hope 2017 is a kinder, more unified, more generous year.

It sounds so easy, but many in our society at the national level, and at the local level, have forgot how to simply be kind to one another. Our nation needs healing, not more verbal wounds right now. We can speak life or speak death. We get to make that choice. I hope we just remember how simple it is to be kind.

I hope we remember how important it is to get along and work together if we want to accomplish anything that matters. Those who seek to divide us are not our friends. They have self-serving personal agendas that they place a higher value on that the health and well-being of our community.

I hope we remember the importance of giving credit to others. None of us succeed without countless “others” helping us along the way. Needing credit or taking credit is not attractive. It’s actually a sign of weakness.

Get some rest. Spend time thinking, evaluating, being kind, and being generous. I am filled with hope that 2017 is going to be an amazing year!

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