Make 2021 A Transformational Year
By Barrington H. Brennen
January 2, 2003, Updated 2021
Many are fearful of the future and
there is a high level of instability and insecurity. We do not know where
the pandemic will take us. However, do you
realize what is truly our greatest problem? It is
stench of selfishness is raising high above the aroma of sensible living and
healthy relationships. Too many people have their own agendas and will let
nothing get in their way, even if it causes pain to others. In reality, if great
care and effort are not taken, marriages, families, and interpersonal
relationships will suffer the most in this coming year. We must not let this
happen. The strength of any family, community,
institution, or country, is not just its financial,
intellectual, or industrial resources. It is meaningful,
long-lasting, reciprocal, and unselfish loving relationships.
What are your plans for
the coming year? What will be most important to you?
I believe that everyone should have highest on
their priority list
the establishment and maintenance of healthy, meaningful, and loving
relationships. This focus must be in the home, church, schools, community,
businesses, and government.
Let every spouse make it his or her main focus to have a
warm, mutually supportive romantic relationship with each other. Let all
parents, single or married, make it their focus to have a loving, dynamic, and
understanding relationship with their children. Let every church, community,
school and corporate leader make it their focus to have a people-centered
approach to leadership. Let every politician focus on serving rather than being
served by the people.
STOP BEING SELFISH
Denying self and focusing on others is not always easy.
Here's the paradox. You cannot be
selfless in a healthy way unless you are selfish
in a healthy way. You do need to take care
of yourself so you can take care of others.
You do need to love yourself in order to develop
healthy loving relationships. There
needs to be a healthy balance between self love
Persons who only think of themselves and seldom
others, are not happy. They might be wounded
or troubled individuals. However persons who
take care of themselves as well and others can do it
without a guilt trip. They can easily forfeit
a special treat for themselves because they already
know they are valuable. At times they
might be able to go without less in order to someone
to have more because they already know their own
It feels good to
pat yourself on the shoulder or to take care of your needs. That's
important. However, when that
self-care obliterates the needs of others around
you, it becomes poisonous. If we continue to focus on
self in unhealthy ways, we will have a greater increase in crime, marital
dissolutions, and dysfunctional relationships. Even the pandemic will
continue to spread. We will have less respect for
government leaders. More spouses will walk out on each other. The juvenile
halls of correction will become more crowded. The prison walls will scream
even louder with the pains of hurting inmates. More of our streets will
resonate with the loud gun fires of angry thugs and drug-induced,
spaced-out, schizophrenic personalities.
Letís stop being selfish this new year. Healthy unselfishness is transformational.
The pandemic offers us a good example how we can
be selfish and selfless in healthy ways.
When we wear a mask in public places, keep
physically distant from people we do not live
with, and wash hands often, we are taking care
of ourselves in order to take care of others.
Let's do our best to make this new year
transformational. Let our communities and
country be transformed into places of beauty,
harmony, and peace. But it must start with
WHAT TO DO ?
Here a few things we all can do to make this
coming year transformational in our personal
lives and in the country.
Follow the emergency orders intentionally.
Say something nice to someone each day.
Be courteous and kind to all you come in contact
Think before responding.
Visit a less fortunate or sick individual at least once a month. It can
be in the hospital, the community, or the prison. (Following the
Write a letter to at least two persons who need encouragement.
If you are married make your relationship with your spouse more
important than your career. Spend lots of time together. Set aside one night
a week for "couple time." Go on romantic dates. Take time to have fun
Watch the movie "Preacherís Wife"
or "A United Kingdom" with your partner.
Find some way of affirming your love for your spouse every day
in the coming year.
Read more meaningful books and watch less television.
Join a community or church service group.
Go to bed earlier, (before 10 p.m.) and raise earlier, giving your body
the maximum opportunity to rest and gather energy for the new day.
If you are married, make it a point to go to bed
together with your partner at least three nights
Make it a point to hug your romantic partner for
up to twenty seconds every morning when you
first see each other standing on your feet.
Exercise at least three times a week.
Listen to inspirational, classical, or soft country music at least once
a week. Remember, too much rock music makes one agitated and angry.
Eat less red meat and highly-spiced foods. Remember that lots of red
meats affect the heart, and lots of spicy foods affect the stomach. If these
are affected, the mind will also be affected.
Reach out and hold the hand of someone each day.
Remember, always to say "I Love You" to a friend, parent, spouse, or
For those of us who are Christians it would be
hypocritical not have the following on this list:
Put Christ at the center of your life with daily prays
and devotions, and go to church at least once a week.
If there is one year we need to be transformational and
loving it is this coming year. We do not know if
the COVID19 pandemic would continue to ravage our lovely
country. We must be creative, resilient, and
Have a happy and meaningful new year.
Barrington Brennen is a counseling
psychologist and marriage and family therapist. Send your
questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or
call 242-327-1980 or visit www.soencouragement.org