In 2017, Resolve To Be Kinder

 Emily Fata  December 30th, 2016   

Written by: Emily Fata   As 2016 draws to a conclusion, I’m sure many of us are contemplating not only what this past year has bestowed upon us – both the happiness and sadness, the clear times of success and the confusing times, as well – but also on what 2017 will usher in.   With this in mind, I’m sure if we think about it, we can reflect on at least a handful of times when we thought something that was less than friendly toward another person. Perhaps it was passing a judgment of their character based on how they looked, or what someone else said about them. Maybe it was avoiding someone because they seemed different. Maybe we outright mocked someone. Regardless of what the situation was, did we think about how it would potentially affect the individual we were judging, avoiding, making fun of? What about now, thinking about it: how do you think it could have negatively impacted them, if they knew what you said or thought about them?   Instead of dwelling on the wrongs we’ve done in the past year and simply feeling guilty for it, we can instead focus on how we will improve our thoughts and words for 2017. We can begin by remaining consciously aware of the thoughts that cross our minds – aim to keep them kind and judgment-free. Attempt to refrain from drawing conclusions on someone’s story without getting to know them; keep in mind that you may think you know someone, but they have not told you the details of their whole story.   Better yet, offer your support to someone who you see could benefit from it. Whether it is a temporary one-time thing or an interaction that blossoms into a long-lasting friendship, a goal for 2017 should be to lift up those around us when we can, and do everything in our power to stop ourselves from tearing people down. In the words of the lovely Toronto-born silent film actress Mary Pickford, “If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”   Pick yourself up and set out to be the best person you can be in 2017.