It is the time of the year to think about resolutions to improve. The beginnings of improvement are rooted in humility. Start with examining ourselves, especially with regard to our loved ones.
As all law enforcers know, there are three sides to every human conflict, my side, your side and the truth which lies somewhere in the middle. There is little you can do to change the other side and if you believe your side is the whole truth and nothing but, then there is little chance of improving the situation.
Jordan Peterson tells the story of Noah from a psychological point of view and says that Noah’s story is all of ours. Its message is prepare for the worst. Every human will encounter devastating storms in life. It may be death, disease, loss of a job, catastrophic injury, etc.
The hostile environment facing many of us in law enforcement today adds to the risks faced. When your flood starts, if you have not built a sufficient ark in the form of family, friends and faith community, chances of survival diminish.
More than ever, with the increase in officer suicides and the focus on officer wellness by agencies, our main support system – the family – demands more attention and care. It is the little things that make the greatest difference. Ponder the following analogy:
The difference between success and mediocrity or tremendous and average is not measured in grand increments. Though the prize goes to the strongest, the swiftest, smartest, etc.
A nose often wins a horse race. The prize winner is not a hundred times better than the second place and show horse, only an inch or two better. Winners are not twenty, ten or even five percent better than those they beat, only a tiny bit better. The difference in the purse though is often a multiple of a hundred or more.
This is true in many things.
Most people are doing about 90% of the things necessary to be average in most areas of life. Great rewards come to those willing to do a few of the ‘extra’ small things, those willing to become ‘a nose’ better, if you will.
Following is a list of small things which, practiced daily, can make a great difference in your family life, attitude, and health. Slight improvement in one part of character moves us forward in all areas.
Resolve to work on one per month. Your home will be a better place because of your humble resolve and your ‘ark’ will withstand the most terrible storms.
- Put down the toilet seat.
- Wipe your crumbs and sticky spots from the table or floor.
- Hug or kiss everyone when you come home from work.
- Read a story aloud once a week, especially to your teens.
- Eat together.
- Give thanks for the company and food before eating.
- Have someone at the table read an inspirational quote before eating.
- Step away from others when you pass gas. In the car, open a window.
- Get your hair and /or whiskers out of the sink.
- Fill the car with gas and windshield washer solution.
- Go for a walk around the block with a family member before plopping your butt in the La-Z-Boy.
- Buy a flower from one of the expressway guys or ladies. Give it to a family member.
- Take your spouse on a date once a week and act like you are still courting.
- Once a week spend some private time with each of your children, a walk, a sundae, soda, movie, etc…
- If you have no children, become a big brother, sister, tutor or mentor to somebody who needs your good example. This will move you to examine and possibly rethink certain behaviors.
- Give up Sunday TV sports to watch your kid warm the bench during their game.
- Buy ice cream whether they win or lose.
- Rinse your plate before putting it in the sink.
- Save the last cookie or scoop of ice cream for someone else.
- Commence foreplay on Friday if you want to make love Sunday. (See #10)
- Sneak away to a hotel resort a few times a year with your spouse.
- Put the cap on the toothpaste and squeeze from the bottom.
- Remove Kleenex from pockets before throwing clothes in the hamper.
- Throw clothes in the hamper, especially sox and underwear – especially underwear with skid marks.
- Put down the paper when somebody talks to you.
- Take your kids for a walk at night in the first snow and get hot chocolate.
- Encourage, even when they say they don’t need it.
- Be kind when others are irritated or angry.
- Mute the TV when somebody talks to you.
- Listen with your eyes, ears, heart and gut.
- If you pick your nose with your right hand, have a Kleenex in the left and vice versa.
- If you have a landline, write phone messages for others.
- Do something kind for a stranger.
- Use humor to amuse not abuse.
- Smile at everyone in your house at least once a day.
- Be on time.
- Say nothing until your anger leaves.
- Spend major time on major things and minor time on minors.
- Say ‘no’ politely.
- Keep promises.
- See things from the others’ point of view. You don’t have to agree.
- Check the smoke detector’s batteries.
- Keep a dictionary close and look up words with family members.
- Remember, your way to happiness is through caring for those in your life.
- Pass these ideas on to everyone in your classes and workplace.
- Right now, highlight only one of these that fits in the “Do this Daily” category. Remind yourself to do it daily for the next month. Your home will immediately become a brighter place, your ‘ark’ strengthened and you a bit closer to the great rewards because you are just a nose better.
Do not be overcome by evil,
But overcome evil by good.
Discipline yourself so no one else will have to.
At the bottom line, it’s all about saving just ONE life.
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