December 28, 2013 11:33:31 PM
Welcome 2014! Oh my, is anyone really ready to face another year? I certainly am not.
Many people are making New Year's resolutions at this time. This is completely against my belief system. I never make resolutions. Each flip of the calendar brings new horrors. We have to face the big issues, like our economy, unemployment, the lack of health care and the constant threat of looming war with countries across the globe. Which countries? Just pick one. We have generated so much ill will almost everyone hates us.
Of course, there are the small issues as well. Broken appliances and broken promises, illness and hurt feelings -- all these unanticipated events contribute to a bumpy year ahead. We just do not need to make things any more difficult with diets and self-denial. My policy is to be as nice as I possibly can, especially to myself. However, there are some things that seem to benefit others, but that actually work in reverse.
Samuel Johnson said, "The true measure of a person is how they treat someone who can do him absolutely no good." This makes a lot of sense. But, really, helping others actually does the "doer" a ton of good.
My friend, Kaye Ward, sent me a story that was too small and not sensational enough to be newsworthy. She forwarded an email from Jan Baker, relating the scary incident of a tire blowout, on a trip from Starkville to her home in Selma, Ala.
Jan writes, "Immediately, and I do mean immediately, the nicest man stopped and changed it for me. His name is Gary Laughlin, a realtor with Crye-Leike in Columbus. He was so nice and even tried to find a place where I could buy a new tire." Good work, Gary.
There are so many people and animals who need our help now. Many may not be able to thank you. However, the satisfying feeling that we get from the deed is priceless.
If you have a few extra dollars, there are a number of extremely worthy organizations who would be so grateful for a donation. One of my favorites is "First Book." Just as the name indicates, this group gives books to children who may not ever have owned one. The goal is to encourage reading and start the children on the path of building their own library.
Right now, Random House Publishers will donate three books for every $2.50 donated. That is quite a bargain. But act quickly. This offer expires at the end of this year. We have a chapter of First Book right here in the Golden Triangle. You can find them on Facebook.
I love animals. So do not forget our furry friends. Donations to our local shelter, or any rescue group will be most gratefully received.
Some Secret Santas go into our big-box stores and pay off the layaways of total strangers. I am certain that this gives as much of a thrill to the Secret Saint Nick as to the recipient.
I had planned to write a column about kooky predictions for 2014. However, when I told Mr. Chris my forecast for the Kardashian clan, he said, "You have gone too far." OK, I'll admit it was a bit harsh. My higher self reeled in the snarky comment. Perhaps that was my first good deed of the New Year.
So, no matter if you have a bit of cash to donate to your "pet" cause, or if you have the strength to change a tire, kindness will always be rewarded in some unexpected way. You may be surprised at the results.
I wish all my readers a very happy 2014. May this year be wonderful and safe and bring you much happiness.
Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.