New Year’s Resolutions – Finale

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Perspective.  It’s such a gift that we take for granted, and sometimes even reject.  Fresh eyes to see.. new angles to look at something…stimulation that promotes growth..

So, in 2017 I wanted to resolve to:

Read More.

Read Diverse.

Read Consistently.

Read Slowly.

Many of you actually made some great book recommendations for me!  I took notes on what you told me, filled up my Amazon shopping cart, and was set for the year.. With my classes, and the hurry-scurry of my life, it was a bit of a struggle.. especially the READ SLOWLY part.  Ha.  So, sometimes I would literally read one paragraph to *chew* on for a few days.

So, why did I resolve to do this? (And, will be doing so again in 2018!)

Reading has so many benefits.  My Dr. told me that it greatly aids in focus – disciplining our mind. (Annnd, my mind needs all the help it can get!)  😀  In this age of fast-paced, give-it-to-me now world.. slowing down to read and turn the pages in a book, digesting written words, contemplating new things, and creatively visualizing and connecting to the author’s meaning is a precious resource (that we often neglect cos we are too busy!). Who doesn’t want better focus, the gift of more creative genius, further knowledge, and the ability to better understand others?  I do, but like most good-for-me stuff in life, I have to be intentional to make it happen.  (For some reason eating healthy doesn’t magically happen for me, but chocolate seems to appear just when I want it!)

Diversity is the gift of all the variety that surrounds us, but sometimes we don’t (or can’t) connect to it.  We tend to only watch/read/study those things that all fit in the same little mindset we feel comfortable and at home with. We see through our own set of eyes, with our own personal lens or perception that have filters that don’t see things in all the same ways.  Yet, quite frequently we judge, dismiss, criticize with limited resources mentally to make those assessments.

Often, we fear what we don’t understand.. Our fear causes us to mistrust and to become defensive.  But, do we really have to defend who we are?  Isn’t it a gift for me to be able to communicate to you who I am, and then in return understand who you are and what makes your world tick?

Obviously, we are all going to have our own beliefs, convictions, goals and desires.. That’s what makes the you and the me!  We can be passionate, convicted and dig our roots deep into the beliefs that we have for our own lives.  I’m not talking about being wishy-washy or everyone’s ways always being right.. But, to “climb into another man’s skin and walk around” for a bit is a gift of new eyes to see life from a new angle.  Books are a perfect way to visit new cultures, hear another’s pain, understand why other’s believe and act the way they do, and grow in the knowledge of a skill-set that will help us in life.. and much, much more!

I think the greatest benefit to me through my little resolution this year was having my own biases, pride and prejudices triggered. Reading slowly gave me time to prayerfully and reflectively challenge my pride, my small mentalities and my perceptive limitations and say “Hey now, Joani.  Your little world isn’t the only one out there.. ”

Truly listening with ears to hear, and eyes to see another is life-shaping and life-changing.  

Find you a book, find you a quiet place, and dive in!

Here we go 2018!  

(Quote from Atticus in “To Kill A Mockingbird” – one of the many wonderful books we can read!)

 

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