By John Sheda
2014 is breathing down our necks. I’ve seen quite a few new years begin and I’ve even managed to remember most of them, although the early twenties (age not year) were somewhat of a blur. Anyway, here are some ways to attack 2014, survive it and even feel better about yourself when 2014 arrives — and it probably will.
Let 2014 be a better year than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time.
Call or contact a forgotten friend. Catch up on old times. Stay in touch with each other more than just that Christmas card.
Share a funny story with someone whose spirits are down and dragging. A good laugh is always an excellent medicine.
Promise yourself that you will stay in closer touch with your extended family and good friends. Don’t wait until funerals to catch up. Life goes by to swiftly.
Every day, find the time to be kind and thoughtful. Give a compliment. Mean it. It will give the person a much needed lift.
Think things through. Forgive an injustice. Listen more. And remember to be kind.
And for heaven’s sake, if you’re wrong, apologize. An apology never diminishes a person. It elevates them.
Don’t toot your own horn. If you’ve done something of note, others will take notice and acknowledge. If not, the man upstairs will!
Lighten up. When you feel like blowing your top, ask yourself, “Will this really matter a week from now?” Then count to ten, or twenty or …
Be optimistic — about yourself, your life, your family, your friends and just life in general. Optimism makes life a little more fun.
Encourage others. Give them sound advice but encourage them to try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Don’t abandon your old-fashioned principles. They never go out of style. When courage is needed, ask yourself, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
Walk tall and smile more. This’ll make you look 10 years younger automatically.
Help someone at least once a week who has no way of repaying you. They’re called “random acts of kindness.”
Don’t be afraid to give someone a hug and say “I love you.” Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.
And with that, Happy New Year! Be safe on New Year’s Eve.
John Sheda is pastor of Living Water Church in Independence. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org