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Op-ed: New Year advice (by Peter Children)

The new year is here, when it arrived I was asleep but I left the door open and it entered my life all by itself, just as I knew it would. As always it was there when I awoke; it arrived without making a sound, so the question on the table is what will we do with this new year? Or better year…what will it do to us?

Every time a new year arrives, people make resolutions, for some it is a good thing, for others it is a waste of time. In this city I sense division, often I get the feeling I am living in an armed camp with visible dividing lines running down the middle of the street, and I know I am not alone in those thoughts. At my age I know many things younger people will come to know when and if they reach the years I have lived.

To help them in their journey, I want to offer some insight; there are definitely roadblocks in life, obstacles that are placed in our path that make it seem impossible to proceed….and try as you may it seems impossible to go on. Before you can get past this impediment you must first identify its origin, you must see how it was built and who placed it in your path. Nine times out of ten you will find that it was you who built it, that you were the contractor who put up the roadblock. We subconsciously find ways not to take chances in which we might fail. When this happens it is often called a lack of self confidence or low self esteem…it is 100% self inflected….get over it and learn to reach out for every opportunity life offers you…. take chances.

So many people wear blinders, their vision is narrow, too focused on only one side. To successfully achieve your goal you must first look closely at the other side, learn everything there is to know about the opposing view, and when you do you may have taught yourself something you never knew before….and one of those things you might learn is that you were wrong. And if that is what you find out it does not mean you lost, it means everybody wins including you if the goal in the first place was for the betterment of everyone concerned. You will find that the populace is quick to give respect to those who can accept that they were wrong…..and if you are normal, you will be wrong more often in life than not. Once you come to terms with the fact that there are others who know far more than you, you will have opened the door to knowledge….because if you open your ears and eyes you will learn the wisdom of others. Life itself is the biggest classroom in the world and you are in it everyday…you just don’t know it.

So as we continue through life on our journey, lets resolve to learn from each other and lower the curtain if resistence that separates us from success, listen more and say less and when the day ends you will have made substancial deposits into your bank of knowledge. Learn that life will be easier for all if we look at the whole picture and not just the part you like.

Lastly; read, keep reading and never stop. Make it your life long addiction. When I was much younger I used to read the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam in the evening before retiring. It got that I could quote verbatim most of it; and one of the passages that helped open my mind was this; Khayyam said he sent his soul into the invisible for some afterthought of that life yet to come, and by and by when his soul returned it said to him; “I myself am both heaven and hell.” It taught me we make or own heaven and we make our own hell….that says it all………good luck to everyone in this new year.

Peter Children

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