This is something that I wrote a couple of years ago. I was just reminded of writing it after the death of a family friend a few days ago. I know she shared many of my same values. She died too young, leaving a husband and a two year old son. So I'm sharing once more for Kris.
The holiday season is now officially in full swing. For many of us that means spending more time with friends and family not to mention cooking and shopping. But I think it’s also a time to reflect on our own priorities and values and generally become a little more introspective.
I just wanted to share some of my own beliefs and priorities with anyone that cares to listen.
I believe that friends and family are important. I remind myself everyday just how lucky I am to have my children. I take joy in the baby learning to point to something yellow and proudly announce, “Ye-yo!” followed by enthusiastic clapping. I love listening to her yell “ All done!” when she is finished napping and awaiting rescue from the confines of her crib. I feel Claire’s pain when she tells me that she didn’t get to sit with her friend at lunch and was instead forced to sit with the ‘mean girls.’ Katie makes me laugh everyday with her amazingly quick wit. I am incredibly proud that my sons have turned out to be genuinely good and moral people that will go out of their way to help others.
I believe that sometimes it takes some work to be happy. It’s important to be willing to be happy and be open to all the possibilities that life has to offer.
I believe in trying to become a better person.
I believe in never purposely hurting others, even someone that you think has it coming. I have the opinion that everyone has enough problems. No one needs someone deliberately trying to hurt them.
I believe in learning from mistakes, but not dwelling on them. Learning from mistakes also means admitting that you have made them. There is no upside to blaming others for your problems. Sometimes the only good thing that comes from a given situation is the life lesson you can take from it. If you don’t see your own role and get caught up in playing the victim, then you have taken away the potential for growth.
I believe that sometimes we all have to force ourselves to do things that we don’t want to do and make us uncomfortable. That’s part of being a grown-up.
I believe that it is acceptable to wallow in self-pity for exactly five minutes. Then it’s time to work on a solution.
I believe in having goals. If you don’t know where you want to go, how in the world will you ever get there?
I believe in forgiveness. I also believe that you can forgive but also not repeat the same mistake.
I believe in the importance of being polite and well mannered. I also believe that children need to be taught these skills.
I believe in firm boundaries. I have a clear idea of what is right and what is wrong. I have learned to stand my ground and I will not give on important issues.
I believe in compromise. Not all issues are equally important to both parties. Sometimes it’s important to put the needs of others before your own.
I believe in tolerance of others even if they are different from you and you disagree with their opinions.
I believe that parents should control their children in public places.
I believe that restaurant portions are too large for one person.
I believe that we should be careful about judging. It is incredibly easy to think you know how you would handle a given situation until you are faced with it. As Jack Handy used to say, “Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, you’ll be a mile from them, and you’ll have their shoes."
I believe in working hard and working smart.
I believe in honesty. It’s a lot simpler than trying to keep your story straight.
I believe in loyalty. You never ever screw over your family or friends. Ever.
I believe in helping others whenever you have the opportunity.
I believe that children should have early bedtimes.
I believe that the notion of karma is not mystical or magical but just good common sense. Which person is more likely to have people to turn to for help in bad times, the person that lives a good life helping others or the one that is not bothered by hurting others? What goes around does come around. Think about it and don’t forget to pass it along.
I believe in reminding people of their great qualities. We all tend to focus on the negative feedback we receive. Maybe if everyone had more positive interactions, that could help outweigh the bad. The world could be a happier place.
I believe that people have the capability to change provided that they also have the will.
I believe in treating others with respect. I have also learned that there is no hope for being respected when you have no respect for yourself.
I believe Dr. Phil when he says that we teach people how to treat us.
I believe in persevering. My philosophy is that a yes is a yes and a no is a maybe.
I believe in communication. I think that adults should be able to discuss differences without arguing.
I believe in having enough foresight to see the potential for trouble in a given situation and having the sense to correct it before it turns into a problem. For example, a child that wants to eat spaghetti on your new sofa. This same concept is applicable in many areas of life. It is far easier to simply avoid trouble.
I believe that’s about all I can think of.