A Credo for the New Year

This year, instead of joining most of the world in making a bunch of half-hearted or even well-intentioned resolutions that we’ll all indubitably break before the first month of 2010 is over, I’ve decided to say adios to that guilt-inducing tradition. Having grown up Catholic, I have no trouble finding things to be guilty about every day thank you very much. Instead, for this fresh (and ridiculously cold, I might add) year, I’ve chosen to establish a credo, to write down just exactly what it is I believe, and then to try to live my life with it in mind.

And so a year from now, when 2010 chugs off into the night and 2011 slithers down the pole to say hello, I might not have a better butt, but I will hopefully be a better person.

I *think* that’s what matters most.

And so, without further ado, here it is.

I believe that people matter most.
That the relationships I have with my family and friends are my most precious assets.

I believe that we all have something to offer, and that it is our responsibility to share our talents with the world and to allow others to share theirs.
That, though we are not all equal in every way, we all deserve equal rights.
That human rights are non-negotiable.
That no matter how different we may seem, at heart we all have the same basic desires.

I believe in living sustainably.
In choosing to bike or walk whenever possible.
In reducing, reusing, and recycling.
In supporting local business, even if it costs a little bit more.
In living within, if not below, my means.

I believe that diversity enriches our lives.
That listening to different opinions opens my eyes to perspectives I hadn’t considered.
That changing my mind when I’m convinced of another view makes me a stronger, not weaker, person.
That it’s okay to agree to disagree.

I believe that at times hope is enough to sustain us and to take away hope is to destroy life.
That dreams are powerful but that they require action.
That love empowers and forgiveness frees.

I believe that the less I want, the more I’ll find I have.
That the more I give, the richer my life will be.
That a hand up helps more than a hand out.

I believe that I can’t control everything, but I can always control how I react.
That every day I get to choose how I will live that day.
That it’s never too late to do the right thing.

I believe in dancing even though I have two left feet and singing even though I’m tone deaf.
In not worrying about what others think but about what I believe.
In disappointing others if that’s the only way to stay true to myself.

I believe that there is something out there far greater than me.
That our world is an awesome place begging to be explored.
That life should be celebrated.
Every. Single. Day.

7 Replies to “A Credo for the New Year”

  1. Love it, love it. Love it.

    Only one sentence I would quibble with:

    “That no matter how different we may seem, at heart we all have the same basic desires.”

    One thing I think I learned on my journey is that people in other cultures actually value different things. So, I’m not sure we do have “the same basic desires.”

    And I think the differences in “desires” can and should be respected and accepted.

    To pretend we all want the same thing, I think, is to drive on the boulevard of broken dreams.

    Beyond that, I applaud every word.

    Very well said.

  2. Hi, Craig. I hear what you’re saying, and I think I actually agree with you. I don’t think that we all desire the same “things” but have, in some ways, the same general hopes. For instance, I think the majority of people want what is best for their children. In the U.S., that might mean that they attend a good university and get a rewarding job. In Cambodia that meant that they marry well and have many children. I think the thing, or event, or outcome we desire is decidedly marked by our background and culture, but that many of our root desires are similar. I think if perhaps we all recognized this, then we’d be more accepting of the myriad choices that others make as they try to fulfill certain “common” desires.

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