I wrote the following ten dreams for the betterment of our city under a two-fold self-imposed dictum: a) Less is more and b) most of the following ten aspirations will hopefully not only enrich the life of another, but your life as well.
One: Live Dr. King’s dream to the best of your ability. The next time you interact with another human being with skin color different from yours, celebrate that difference and search for the other’s character.
Two: Volunteer at a homeless shelter to serve meals. Learn the difference between being a server and one who is being served. (Leonard Cohen)
Three: When encountering someone with a different political opinion than yours, take the advice of the late Stephen Covey, “seek first to understand then to be understood.” By doing so, you will be doing your share to help bring the day closer when the political divide among us will evaporate into the common love for the betterment of our city that unites us all.
Four: In your dealings with others, no matter who, family members, colleagues, co-workers, friends neighbors, strangers, make civility the rule not the exception.
Five: Notice the speed limit signs on our city streets, expressways and highways. They are not there for decoration but to save lives.
Six: Find the courage to move outside your daily routine. One place to begin are the nonprofit organizations in our community. Find a cause that moves your heart, then get involved, really involved at some level with whatever time and means you have at your disposal: hands on as a worker bee volunteer, join the board, or donate financially. You will come to realize that many of our nonprofits are struggling to give flesh to the prophetic call for justice and are attempting to answer yes to the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Seven: Set aside one hour a week to visit a shut in or someone in a nursing home.
Eight: Forgive someone who has wronged you.
Nine: Stop blaming God when things go wrong in the world. Other than natural disasters, we are the ones who bear responsibility. Remember what the late, great writer Kurt Vonnegut taught us, when he asked, “What is the purpose of life? …To be the eyes and ears and conscience of the Creator of the Universe….”
Ten: Take time to look at a flower, in its beauty you will see the signature of God.