First Things First

A citizen is someone who looks after the well-being of society.  However, it is a daunting endeavor for me to look after society without first looking after myself.  The two go hand in hand.  I like to look at myself as having a triad of dimensions (these may not actually exist separately, but for analytical purposes they are helpful to separate): mind, body, and spirit.


Am I open to learn new things?  Do I pursue learning wholeheartedly?  Am I responsible enough to change my mind when I think I’ve been wrong?  Am I reading?  Am I reading things to compel me to think?  Am I reading things that compel me to think more deeply about the society I live in?

For a listing of good books, I like to look at the nominees for the annual National Book Award.


Am I taking care of my body?  Do I eat right?  Do I exercise right?  How about my mental and emotional health?

Lately my back has been ailing.  With the help of medical professionals, I am relearning how to better take care of my back.  Helping others is a daunting challenge for me when I’m in significant physical pain.


Am I living for something bigger than myself?  Are my actions prompted by a love for others?  Do I identify myself with causes and initiatives that promote peace and justice for others?


This is the month people often make resolutions for the new year.  I challenge you to resolve to improve yourself.  I am.  After all, changing ourselves is within our power.  If we do this, our democracy will be all the better for it.

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