To Live By
It was a New Year's Eve many years ago. I thought about what I'd like to do, not just during the coming year, but with the rest of my life.
I thought about how most resolutions are doomed to be broken, so I wanted to “simplify” mine. Make them into “a way of life”, so to speak.
I had too often attempted a “bucket list” type of resolutions, things to be checked off, but not things I had continuously strived to live.
So I wrote down the following . . . and have strived to live by each of them every day, ever since. Each and all can be done by virtually anyone . . . and nary a one costs as much as a dime.
Some I have kept better than others, no doubt. Yet I’ve come to strive equally for them all every day, perhaps now more than ever. As time has marched on, they have truly become a “way of life”.
I hope you strive to “live by” some of the following maxims with me, my friends. Pick and choose as you wish. You may modify, of course, or totally create your own.
(I must hereby give credit where credit is due. The following list initially came largely from a diligent reading - and rereading - of the great French novel, Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. The author does not specifically dwell upon any of the following maxims. But like all great teaching - they are upheld within the telling of a story. In particular, these ideas “shine forth” within the character of the novel’s Good Bishop.)
To Live By:
This one I have done fairly well, I suppose. I don’t desire a lot in the way of materials things. And I seem to be happier with less as time goes on.
Give hope and warmth as you go.
This one maxim has eased my occasionally recurring depression more than all the manmade medicine I’ve ever tried in this world. When depressed, no one “feels like” giving hope and warmth. But when I “make myself” go out and give hope and warmth to others, I ultimately break free of that icy cold hold.
Treat every soul as your own.
This helped me so very, very much throughout my teaching career. Particularly when teaching jail inmates. Sometimes one can lose hope and faith in one’s fellow man or woman. At such a time I strive to remind myself that each of my fellow beings has a soul, equal in worth to my own. And since I refuse to give up on myself, neither will I give up on anyone else - however misguided any fellow soul in this existence may presently be.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial