As everyone has been discussing New Year’s Resolutions–whether to make them or not, how to keep them, if they’re a good idea–I’m reminded of my mother’s annual insistence that we write our New Year’s resolutions. Last year I wrote about her resolutions made in 1973 and worked on until she breathed her last on January 5, 2009. I think it’s worth a re-post, so here it is:
Mentioning the New Year’s Resolutions my mother required us to write reminded me of a tattered piece of shirt cardboard that she had taped to her closet door. It was her resolutions from January 1, 1973–years after I’d married and left home. But evidently they were so satisfactory that she saw no need to replace them with others. They’re actually pretty good ones for us all. Here they are, from Mary Ralph Bradley.
- I want to be more patient with other people’s faults.
- I want to serve my God better this year than last.
- I want to pray harder for those people on my prayer list.
- I want to be a better mother, wife, teacher.
- I want to find something good about someone every day, forget the bad.
- I want to pray for those people who I think are foolish.
I can’t help but observe that three of them focused on tolerating the short-comings of others. I can see that same judgmental attitude in myself and constantly try to combat it, as she did. That was the year she turned 50, and I can attest to the fact that she did indeed improve in those areas as the next 35 years passed.
How were you trying to improve yourself forty years ago? Can you see any improvement in yourself in the last decade or two or three?