reSOULutions

If you search the internet for 2022 resolutions you will receive about 6 billion results. Granted there are ways in which one’s list can make it to the top of the list, nonetheless, it was interesting to see the source of some of the top returns: Good Housekeeping, Wall Street Journal, CNN/Dr Sanjay Gupta, NY Times, FoxNews, The Pioneer Woman and lots of other lesser known sources. Some were serious, others were tongue-in-cheek (“I am going to stop getting into arguments with the neighborhood dogs. It’s unproductive, and I don’t understand what the dogs are saying half of the time”) – good advice nonetheless.One of the interesting lists came from Rev. Tish Harrison Warren, a priest in a conservative Anglican denomination who is also an op-ed writer with the NY Times.Her Sunday articles begins: “I accomplished zero percent of my New Year’s resolutions last year. I’m obviously no sage of discipline. But I’d argue that the chief value of resolutions is not found in our success or failure at keeping them. Instead, they help us reflect on what our lives are like, what we would like them to be like and what practices might bridge the difference.” With that in mind she asked for help in thinking about resolutions that would benefit the soul, as individuals, or that would help the “soul” of our nation and our world. And so she asked friends who are pastors, writers, scholars and spiritual leaders to offer suggested “reSOULutions” for 2022. The responses came from the breadth of religious perspectives

The list included: take time to reflect; engage in regular conversation with someone outside your usual sphere; engage the offline/offscreen world first; regularly examine your blessings, graces, sins, and recommit yourself to living in grace; actually keep the Sabbath; encourage the people around you; and pray for political leaders — especially ones you don’t like.

Rev. Jonathan Mitchican, Catholic priest and writer offered that we consider how our choices and actions ripple out into the world around us – impacting the people we know and all the ones we don’t know

“Every time we act, our actions affect more people than we actually see. One of the hallmarks of Catholic social teaching is solidarity, recognizing that we are all connected as human beings and that our own well-being is tied up with the well-being of others. One small way to live that out is to pause before taking a particular action to think about the third person who will be affected by it.

“So, for instance, if you send an angry email to someone, you will be affected by it first, and the person you send it to will be affected by it second, but who will be next? That person’s spouse? Their child? What will that effect be? Is it worth it? If we all thought a little more about the third person, we would likely be more careful with how we treat each other.”

Just some food for thought in thinking about how we journey through the year 2022.

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