Monday, January 2, 2012

Quote for the New Year

“Before you act, listen.
Before you react, think.
Before you spend, earn.
Before you criticize, wait.
Before you pray, forgive.
Before you quit, try.”

            -Ernest Hemingway

If we could all follow this guide as we begin the New Year our lives would be so much simpler. Lets consider the quote one line at a time.

“Before you act, listen.” So many times we say things we don’t mean because we have not taken the time to listen to all aspects of a situation. Listening can be the most important part of a conversation, argument, or discussion. We already know our side, but unless we listen completely, we may not have all the information we need to form our opinion. Listen carefully, and you may end up changing your mind.

“Before you react, think.” Consider the consequences of a reaction before it is too late to take it back. A moments’ pause to think may save you from yourself. Regrets are no way to start a New Year.

“Before you spend, earn.” What could be more basic, yet so ignored? It seems the whole world is financially irresponsible today. From countries going bankrupt, to friends and neighbors losing homes they should never have purchased in the first place. What is so hard to understand about a budget? For me the stress and worry of living above my means cancels out any pleasure I might gain from buying something I can’t really afford. In 2012 resolve to manage your money instead of letting your money manage you.

“Before you criticize, wait.” Do we really need to criticize at all? It might do more harm then good and you may end up hurting someone. Instead think of something to praise a person about and then offer a positive suggestion. Human beings are so fragile. Be gentle with each other.

“Before you pray, forgive.” Forgiveness will free your heart to pray sincerely. Holding on to anger and resentment will restrict the flow of love coming to and from you. Release your negative energy and make room for peace.

“Before you quit, try.” I hate to hear someone say, “I can’t.” Especially when they have not even tried. How do you know you can’t if you don’t try? Try new things and you may be surprised at what you can accomplish.

Follow Hemingway’s suggestions and give yourself the gift of peace, thoughtfulness and success as you begin this New Year. Best wishes to all.

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