6 Wise Quotes to Consider for the Year

Last month I attended an event produced by a local non-profit, called Performing Stars of Marin, at www.performingstars.org. The event was dedicated to thanking our former President Barack Obama for his many contributions to our country.

I’m dedicating this newsletter to sharing a few of President Obama’s quotes. I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me. It is my fervent belief if we display a greater amount of etiquette, our world would be a better place in which to live. (BTW, I am not sharing these quotes to manipulate anyone’s political views. These quotes are universal in their sentiments, especially when viewed from an etiquette perspective.) I added my thoughts for change:

1.“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” We cannot build a great life for those around us and ourselves when we treat each other poorly. There is no purpose to displaying road rage, calling others terrible and demeaning names by any written or oral methods, and displaying behaviors in any form of non-productive manner.  We must see how we are hurting ourselves and everyone around us by our actions.
Action: Make it a goal in 2017 to stop any senseless behaviors that will not enhance your life and the lives of those around you. Instead, replace them with self-restraint and productive words and actions that show you care, respect, and love yourself and others.  When you catch yourself doing such things, make the effort to make amends, as discussed in item 2.

2. “We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.” How much time do you spend making every effort to be excellent in all you do? And, when you do mess up, do you spend on self-reflection to gain the insights required to change that negative behavior? Do you say, “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, or I apologize for saying what I did?”
Action: Each night, examine and evaluate your day by remembering all the good things you did and the items that could use improvement. Plan to ask for forgiveness from those you have hurt, and then document, in a journal, your record of what you are doing to change your life in 2017.

3. “None of us can or should expect a transformation in race relations overnight.” Actually, a person’s attitudes and actions can change for the better in a relatively short period. That change is long overdue in the U.S. and in all parts of the world.
Action: Invite someone to coffee or tea whom you don’t know well. Invite a person who is not a part of your immediate community of friends, whether personal or professional. He or she may be from another part of the world with which you are less familiar. This person may be of a different race, culture, or ethnicity. Share and learn from each other. You will find most human beings have a great deal in common with what makes them joyful and fearful.

4. “The future must not belong to those who bully women. It must be shaped by girls who go to school and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams like our sons.” My interpretation can be expanded to include bullying of any kind, to anyone, of any age, race, or ethnic background. Bullying in any form is a tactic used by those who attempt to exude superiority over others.
Action: Be mindful and watchful of the words you use and the tone of voice you show in your writings and speech. Reread all written items you plan to send by email and other forms of delivery. Slow down your speech to listen to yourself as you are conveying your thoughts to others, especially when in a heated disagreement. When doing your daily evening assessments, play back what you said to others and decide of any will require you to show your humanity with an apology the next day. This action is on my Top 10 list for myself this year.

5. “We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.” Having a good education not only stems from attending and graduating from an educational institution.  Of equal importance is the mentoring and coaching of students on how to problem-solve a myriad of personal and professional situations that will arise throughout life.  This form of schooling comes from daily living and should be taught during the person’s younger developmental years to be most effective.

Action: Make it a goal to reach out to a student this year. Take one hour a month to volunteer with a youth organization. Befriend a young relative (nephew, niece, grand- or even great-grand child). Find a young person who may be at your work, in the neighborhood, or the community in which you live, such as Big Brother or Sister.   AND DO WHAT? Just spend time to “hang out” with the person.  (Treat them to one of my youth etiquette seminars… had to slip this in.)  For me, such encounters have been among my most cherished moments, because I truly believe I am contributing toward building a better future for that person and furthering the good principles to life in this world.

6. “As parents and as family members, it is our task to do all we can to give our children the very best. In caring for our youth and putting them before ourselves, we make a lasting investment not only in their future, but also in the prosperity and strength of our nation in the years to come.” Again, this can extend to not only being a parent of biological children, but as a steward. We are all parents when it comes to building a better future.
Action: Take the lead in putting the children in your life ahead of your own. Establish a calendar of specified dates you will spend with the young people in your life and stick to them! It’s should be no different than an important business appointment you would never allow yourself to miss. The results will far outweigh anything you would have chosen with which to replace that time.

P.S. BONUS: Here’s a fun way to practice gratefulness for 2017 and beyond. I received this from a friend, via Facebook.

I wish you all the best in 2017, filled with greatness in all you aspire to achieve.

Happy Practicing!


1 Response to "6 Wise Quotes to Consider for the Year"

  • Karen Gray says: