Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Resolution: How To Be A Good Person

Many of you may have resolutions to become a better person.

But how do you do that exactly?

The problem is that being a good person means different things to different people. My husband and I differ on this topic.

I feel that being a good person means:

1. Living frugally ( voluntary simplicity). I feel guilty about excessive materialism and indulgences, including eating too much, wasting food, throwing away items that could be donated, buying more than I need when people are starving in other countries. As I use less I have more to give to others that are truly in need.  I always accept any gift to me graciously, but I tend to not put emphasis on gifts.

2. Taking care of the environment: recycling, buying less, buying used, doing energy-free activities, spending time in nature, never littering, buying organic food and products as needed. Spending money on experiences instead of things.

Note: Although, not environmentally-friendly,  I do think traveling locally and to other countries is important because it opens your mind to different people and lifestyles and looking at the world. Hopefully with better technology they will find a way to make traveling less harsh on the environment.  I don't think that excessive traveling is a good idea. One trip a year is sufficient and many of those trips can be local. Traveling for business should be minimized through the use of technology.

3. Daily prayer, yoga and meditation to change my own heart toward compassion, patience, love and discipline- to let go of toxic thoughts and feelings and to practice acceptance- asking for ideas to help with personal issues - ask for the spirit to guide me - to be my conscience.

4. Giving other people freedom to choose their own way, not asking for too much from others, not bothering people, giving people their space, being non-judgemental, allowing people to have consequences.

5. Showing love to people close to me through touch, massage, etc. Listening to others and sharing my day. Understanding. Spending time with family and friends and other groups.

6. Not watching any movie or reading any book that makes me feel bad due to content. Not making others watch anything or do anything that makes them feel bad.

7. Being honest, except in the cases where it could really hurt another person unecessarily, or when the other person is severely unreasonable.  Practice what I preach.

8. Taking care of myself in body, mind and spirit- so I can be there for others, so I can be a joy for others. Loving myself.

9. Spending time gaining knowlege to spread and share with others. Contributing to society in some way.

10. Being diplomatic and not fighting if possible.

11. Serving and eating simple, organic, healthy food. Although I do welcome a family dessert a couple of times a week.

12. Do the things I am passionate about, even if it doesn't make a lot of money.

13. Accepting that I could be wrong and that my perceptions and beliefs are not necessarily the best or most correct.

14. Allowing other people to rise to a challenge, not babying or doing things for others that they can do for themselves.

15. Allow cars to cut in front of me.

16. Volunteer in ways of my choosing.

17. Cleaning my house.

18. Helping others when they ask or when I see they need help, except when it would be better for them to do it themselves. Don't allow others to take advantage of me.

19. Read self-help books (including spiritual texts) and blogs for self-improvement.

20. Don't watch too many movies or watch too much T.V. Watch educational movies.

21. Determine my goals and work towards them. Stick to my schedule or plan as much as possible, but realize that people often do not fit into a time slot.

25. Let compassion lead me to action. Care for others who need it.

My husband's ideas of being a good person include:

1. Being friendly to everyone. Whenever he sees someone he knows he stops and talks to them.

2. Making and giving treats to family members, friends and those who need cheering up. Giving to people locally, especially those you know.

3. Having consistent family time at specific, scheduled times.

4. Family and personal prayer. Daily repentance.

5. Lying is always wrong. You can always find a way to tell the truth gently.

6. Fighting to defend country and family if necessary.

7. Visiting the sick, widows, lonely, etc.

8. Earning a lot of money so you can provide well for your family- Save up for kids college, etc.

9. Giving generous gifts to people you know and love.

10. Accept people. Don't criticize anyone or anything unless they ask for honest advice. However, that doesn't mean you approve.

11. Work hard and do your best to be successful at your job. Never judging others who are not monetarily successful.

12. Doing things for others just to be nice, even when they can do it for themselves.

13. Don't do too many things- it makes life unecessarily complicated.

14. Give up your seat to a pregnant woman or the elderly. If there is only one seat on the subway he always offers it to me before taking it himself.

15. Not losing your temper.

We both agree:

1. To stay faithful to your spouse (although our definition of this varies somewhat).

2. Not to kill people (although our definition of this varies due to war).

3. Be kind to strangers and friends alike.

4. No intentional stealing.

5. Not using vulgar or foul language (although we differ on whether or not we should avoid others who use it).

6. Not intentionally hurting others (although our view of what hurts others, and what should or shouldn't hurt others differs).

7. Being conscious about the words we speak (my husband is better than me at this).

8. No drugs or getting drunk. Being responsible, dependable and following through.

9. Pick some friends that are good influences and also those that could use a good friend.

10. Obey the law as long as the law isn't compeletly immoral (i.e. telling you to mass murder a specific race).

11. Fix problems as they arise.

12. Do not interrupt or be demanding.

If you think about who will cry when you die, what they will say at your funeral and what legacy you will leave behind, this can help you determine who you want to be and what qualities to manifest in your daily life.
I once heard that the ideal grandparent is one who thinks you (the child) are the greatest person in the world and would do anything for you. This might be the ideal grandparent, but I'm not sure if it would make the ideal parent. What do you think? What does it mean to be good to you?


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