The Most Valuable Lesson From 2016

     It's December. The year is wrapping up and I have been thinking back over it all. 

     I don't know if its because I'm on extra social media outlets now, or because I pay a little more attention to the news than I used to, or because I am more sensitive, but it feels like 2016 was a whoopee of a year. There was just so much chaos, grief, devestation, violence, and hatred out there. I know those things have always been prevalent in this broken world, but somehow they all felt more concentrated and heavy this year. 

     It was a hard year. Even on the tail end of it I struggle to make meaningful sense of it all. So I have been thinking forward to the new year. I have decided that rather than make a silly resolution I won't keep, I will remember the most valuable lesson I learned this year so that I can carry it with me into next year.

     What 2016 has beaten into me with fervor (other than the fact that I cannot pull off midi length skirts) is that I must be humble. 

     Not more humble. Not falsely humble. Humble. 

     This is NOT easy for me. I have a dogged tendency to place being right more highly than being soft and respectful. But I have come to see that sincere modesty invites much more positive change in my envrionment than boastful or stubborn "rightness". 

      Not to say that I have to be a meek and lowly doormat. Simply that being more mild in my actions and reactions will nearly always garner astronomically better results.

     The thing is, when I announce that I am right, and my rightness is the only rightness that was ever right, I automatically put others on the defensive. They feel alienated and judged. It puts us on opposing sides and opens the field for battle. Good stuff does not come from this. I learn nothing. The other person learns nothing. We just dig our heels in deeper. Things get hurtful.

     2016 has taught me that I want to hold my beliefs and opinions humbly. Not lightly. Not tight fisted. That way I can be right in such a way that others feel free to join me. And I can be wrong in such a way that others feel safe in helping me.