Easter Can Be A Fresh Start
I have a little suggestion for those celebrating Easter and maybe even those who are not. We see both Christians and non-Christians using lessons from the Bible every day. I mean, they are good lessons. So, my suggestion is one that I am setting out to follow myself: use today as an opportunity to reset and make goals that will help me become the best version of myself I can be. All but a couple of the goals I have made I originally learned from the Bible and Jesus Christ. As I got older, I realized that these lessons are taught and used outside of religion. That renewed my hope that there was such potential for goodness in the world. I want to contribute to that goodness as much as I can. So, that is where the goals come in.
Here are mine:
Be more patient.
“Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
“A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”
– Proverbs 15:18
Be more compassionate & empathetic.
“Empathy nurtures wisdom. Apathy cultivates ignorance.”
– Suzy Kassem
“Imagine what our real neighbors would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person. There have been so many stories about the lack of courtesy, the impatience of today’s world, road rage and even restaurant rage. Sometimes, all it takes is one kind word to nourish another person. Think of the ripple effect that can be created when we nourish someone. One kind empathetic word has a wonderful way of turning into many.”
– Fred Rogers
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.”
– Romans 15:5
Be slow to judge and fast to listen.
“Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
– Proverbs 15:1
“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”
– John 8:3
Be gentle and kind when approaching people.
“What I’ve come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion.”
– Chris Abani
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
– Ephesians 4:2
Focus more on helping people meet their immediate needs first – like food, shelter, safety, etc. – instead of just “doing what I want” and moving on.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
– Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
– Matthew 9:35-36
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
– Matthew 28-30
Be the “Good Samaritan” and regularly accept how important that is, even when the person or people may reject my message or values.
“I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.”
– Charles de Lint
“In reply Jesus said: ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper.
“Look after him,” he said, “and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” ‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him. Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise.'”
– Luke 10:25-37
“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
– Mark 10:42-45
Remember that I can’t “save” everyone. Whether it’s religion, world issues or even safety, I’m not a savior. There are exceptions but collaboration is needed to save pretty much anything important and I am no more significant than another. All I can do is my very best to be a part in the “saving”.
“So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Corinthians 3:7-11
“You become a cop and they teach you about protecting people and keeping them safe. But they don’t tell you how it rips your heart out when you realize you can’t do it. You can’t save everybody.”
– Tere Michaels
“‘Mum, you just said it yourself: you can’t save everybody.’ She nodded several times and brought a napkin to her damp cheeks. ‘That’s true,’ she said. ‘Very true. But at the same time, can’t you always do more?'”
– Zadie Smith
See every interaction as an opportunity.
“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. … And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”
– Mark 10:13-16
“Imagine how our own families, let alone the world, would change if we vowed to keep faith with one another, strengthen one another, look for and accentuate the virtues in one another, and speak graciously concerning one another. Imagine the cumulative effect if we treated each other with respect and acceptance, if we willingly provided support. Such interactions practiced on a small scale would surely have a rippling effect throughout our homes and communities and, eventually, society at large.”
– Gordon B. Hinckley
Earnestly learn and research the world’s issues, religions, etc. before trying to talk about them.
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
– Albert Einstein
“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”
– Robert Frost
Be open to the idea of changing. Adopting one religion or set of beliefs doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from another. Life lessons could be hidden anywhere and I can use them without having to change who or what I believe in.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
– George Bernard Shaw
“Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”
– Douglas Adams
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.
– Albert Einstein
I know there are some of you who will disagree with some of the points. I also know that some of them could be combined into one point. I guess it just shows how important I think it is the break it down further. Jesus’ resurrection marked the start of another beginning. It seemed fitting to “celebrate” this way.