Happy New Year! Well, you have a brand new year with fresh energy and new goals.
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• Out with old, negative stuff and in with new positive attitude and more positive-thinking friends. Get away from the doomsday folks and move up closer to interesting people who have not given up. Ride with the optimists and avoid the “always mature,” dull personalities.
• Take some risks this year. Tell your fellow employee that you have a crush on him. Forgive someone that you have had a falling out with. Start 2013 with love being the shot caller, not anger.
• If you never forgive someone, they own you. Every time you see them or hear their names, you become upset or angry or both. They are in control of your mood, not you. As the Cherokees are prone to say, you should forgive, but you don’t have to invite them to your house.
• When you forgive others, you automatically feel better. When you forgive, you dump negative feelings, allowing more energy for accenting the positive. Forgiving allows you to move forward and not be stuck in the past.
• Some tears for 2013 are OK. We probably do not have to figure out what makes us cry. People cry for individual reasons, and we certainly don’t all cry for similar reasons or circumstances.
• When I watch Hallmark TV movies, they almost always make me cry. I also cry occasionally when I am very, very happy. A love gained or lost can create tears. A sports victory after a long, hard struggle brings out the Kleenex for me.
• Whenever I give a eulogy, I usually control my emotions and tears until I reach the end. As I start to finish the final words, something happens to my control. More often than not, I have to stop talking at least for a few moments and then return to the final words I wanted to say. My tears speak loudly about my feelings for the person I am describing. By the end of the eulogy, it feels like tears are perfectly OK for me and everyone else who is suffering. Sometimes, when you can’t say any more, tears are the only way to express your intimate feelings.
• Tears come easily when I see someone overcome a learning disability, a physical disability or an emotional disability. Observing a victory after a long battle with any disability defines my idea of observing a hero. Heroes just don’t give up. Sometimes they sweat, sometimes they cry, and occasionally they scream, but they never give up. They are living testimony to the strength of the human spirit. Their performance and success is holy. When I observe these heroes in action, it takes my breath away. I feel proud and privileged to witness their battle and their success. Tears are just as appropriate as any words I can come up with.
• Observing a soldier missing a leg or an arm is a spiritual experience for me, each and every time I see them. I want to embrace them, applaud them, and tell them I appreciate their sacrifice for our way of living. They represent the best we can be.
• There are many quiet heroes in our midst, such as single parents who just do it and don’t give up nor give in. In many ways, they give up their life to make sure the kids have a good life.
• Mothers who put in 80 hours a week taking care of their family amaze me. Their day starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 9 p.m. They must be exhausted, but they don’t say so, and they don’t look exhausted. These silent heroes sacrifice a lot to make sure the family doesn’t have to sacrifice. We should celebrate “Mother’s Day” at least weekly.
• I know many families whose parents arrived in the USA as immigrants, and there are thousands of heroes in this immigrant group. Many of these new USA families worked two jobs while they learned how to speak English. They lived with generous relatives until they could afford their own place. Many worked at any job available, whether they liked the job or not. Lots of sacrifices took place for years so the kids could have a better life.
• I suspect most of us have a hero inside us, under the right or wrong circumstances. Be a hero for others. Create happy tears for me. Make me cry.
Bob Billingsley is a columnist at the Mountain Democrat. His column appears bi-weekly.