Monday, January 13, 2014

Welcome to 2014

After some time away, I thought I'd write just to say: "Hi, I'm back." I've been busy just keeping up with life. Nothing bad; just busy.

I've also created a Twitter account, having held back on that for so long. If you have been encouraged or positively impacted by this blog site, please send me a "tweet" and let me know.


Now, I don't want to sound like a pessimist, but I'm not very optimistic about 2014. I think it's going to be a tough year. I believe I'm not the only one who's been overly busy the past several months. The world is busier than it's ever been without a corresponding increase in "value". Sure, we have a lot of new tech gadgets and more entertainment options than ever before, but Big Brother has started prying into the details of our lives. Any IT professional will tell you that collecting the information is just the first step. It's a scary time for Americans... but we're all too busy with work and entertaining ourselves to take real notice.

Perhaps it's a sense of hopelessness: "What can we do about it anyway?". Or maybe it's hard to prioritize: "Which cause should I support?". Or possibly it's mistrust. There's so much information available, but it's difficult to discern what is legitimate and what is hype.

I offer a simple test that tends to work over time: Listen to what is said and watch to see if subsequent actions match the message. Look back at historical information where it's available and apply the same test retrospectively. 

I was once accused by someone as "unforgiving" because I didn't choose to trust that person. I had observed that they were not trustworthy in certain areas, and I informed that person that I forgave them but did not trust them.

Trust and love are similar in that both are a choice. I can choose to love a person unconditionally despite the hurts from the past. But trust is different from love in that we wisely put up boundaries for untrustworthy people to earn back trust; it's not unconditional. I can love someone unconditionally while at the same time facilitating a safe environment to the rebuild the relationship. In other words, unconditional love (deciding to give what is in the best interest of another) does not mean you give in to all the desires of the other person. 

"Forgive" does not mean "forget". It means we choose not to hold them accountable for injustice against us and that we work to rebuild the relationship. A healthy rebuilding of the relationship takes deliberate effort. It requires mutually identifying issues, open discussion about the issues, and active resolution of the issues. It's hard and it takes effort on both sides. If both parties aren't ready for that kind of effort, then the timing is probably not right. And while it may never be the right time, a forgiving person positions their attitude to remain ready. 

So welcome to 2014. May it be a year where each of us makes healthy choices, especially with respect to the issues in our lives, our relationships, and our culture. That would make it a truly great year.

copyright ©2014 Mitchell Malloy (