Resolve to love the world

Compiled your 2007 resolutions?

Before you post that list on the fridge, check this out: If every resolution is designed for your own benefit, you ain’t living right.

Resolve to shift your perspective, like this:

If you know more about the personal life of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie than you do about the dreams of the kid who bags your groceries or the unfulfilled hopes of the woman who rings you up at the drycleaners or the needs of your neighbor two doors down or the life challenges your child’s teacher faces every day … you ain’t living right.

If you spend more money at Starbucks (or any coffeehouse) than you give in a monthly donation to Doctors Without Borders, the Heifer Project, Catholic Relief Services or any other charity that serves the Third World … you ain’t living right.

If you fast from the news because you think it is too depressing to be a witness to reality … you ain’t living right.

If you think it’s more important to have a garage sale than to give your gently worn clothing or barely used household items to the Association for Retarded Citizens, the Salvation Army, WEAVE or another organization that serves the needy through money made at its thrift stores … you ain’t living right.

If you think it’s cool to drive as if you are completely unaware that there are cars behind you (because you’re talking on the phone or talking to other people in your vehicle or just have righteous ’tude) … you ain’t living right.

If you don’t pack elementary-school math and English workbooks, drawing paper, crayons and other school supplies when you travel in the Third World and if you don’t give them to parents as gifts for their children … you ain’t living right.

If you think it’s appropriate, when traveling, to bargain down a vendor so you can return to the States and tell your friends how you scored a few bucks off a man who makes less in a week than you would ever work for … you ain’t living right.

If the only people you invited to your holiday celebrations were those you consider “blood related” … you ain’t living right.

If your romantic relationships (or arguments) all end the same, but you believe you can solve the problem alone (or by meeting the “right” person) and thus save the money you would pay a therapist … you ain’t living right.

If you owe more in credit-card bills that you make in one week’s salary … you ain’t living right.

If you are still angry at your father, mother, son, daughter, former spouse, former business partner, ex-boyfriend, old girlfriend, childhood religion, Republicans, Green Party members and haven’t done the spiritual work of healing yourself into forgiveness and then reconciling with whomever you were angry at … you ain’t living right.

If you think you’re spiritual, not religious, because religion leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but you haven’t processed those feelings and so can’t see how they stunt your spiritual growth … you ain’t living right.

If you don’t understand why frogs are absent from most backyards today … you ain’t living right.

If you think it’s funny when your buddy teaches his 3-year-old to swear; when your best friend makes lewd remarks about Jessica Simpson in front of his daughter; when your wife gives your teenage son a box of condoms but never talks to him about STDs or the pain of heartbreak … you ain’t living right.

If you think you have no time to volunteer because you need time to relax, to catch up on your favorite TV shows, to go shopping, to hang out at Myspace or Yahoo Singles … you just ain’t living right.

If you’re ready to live right—that is, as a lover, not as one who is waiting to be loved—then choose to make real changes. Select at least three ways to transform yourself from the above list and step into rightful living. You may be surprised to discover that it will resolve everything in your life.

Happy New Year!