Book Hippo

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years Lessons

I am happy a new year is on it's way. My father's death half-way through 2010 gave me a rough year and then there was my step-mother's cancer. There were times I couldn't think straight but only felt sorrow. So I've adjusted to not having my father around and my step-mom is now cancer-free. I'm happy and ready to move on.

I look forward to a year of stability. Mainly so I can look back and see what lessons I've learned. I'll give an example: there is a woman I know from Korea. She told me a little of her background. Her mother beat her with a wooden spoon and with her hands when she was a toddler, by six years of age, she was living in the streets. I won't go into gory detail but I said once, "It must have taken you a long time to get over your anger at your Mom." She looked at me and said, "I'm grateful to her."

I wondered at this and asked how could she be grateful. "She taught me how not to live. Any time something comes up I don't know how to deal with, I think, how would my mother handle it, and then do the opposite." Well, I have to say that this Korean woman has no depression or bitterness or self-pity. She is the most accepting of other people I know and has a lot of friends.

She once introduced me to her brother. I asked when they came over from Korea. He said he was from Northern Canada. How did your brother come from Canada while you're from Korea? She said, "Family is not who you are born to but who you connect with. We are soul brother and sister. I must mention here that this is a man who likes to wear women's clothing. It made me think that if her mother had met him, she would have some foul words for him. So I imagined this woman thinking, 'what would my mother do?' and then accepting him...and finding a soul brother.

I tried her method. Not with my parents who never laid a finger on me but on someone who did hurt me because she herself had been hurt. She was ever hurting people around her. I don't necessarily take opposite actions but psychologically I try to think the opposite. When I'm confronted with an emotion brought on by some incident, I think 'how would this person emotionally deal with this?' Then I do the opposite. I found her method works well.

So during this year of, I hope, stability, I want to look back over my life and see what other people might have left me that I've missed. What other gems came my way that I was too busy to look into. I'd like to apply them to my life and see how they fit. That is my only New Years Resolution.


  1. What a fine resolution it is, and one I think I could keep. We should have more people like your friend, but no one should have to become that person in the way she did. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I like this philosophy. Don't waste time worrying about forgiving those who have done bad things to you. Instead, learn from it and use it as a foundation on which to build your own happiness.

  3. That sounds like a positive, worthy resolution, Madeleine. May your next year be enriched by it.

    A couple of days ago I decided to be more tolerant, less snappy (for want of a better word). Before the day ended I was tested. I failed. My resolution now is to learn how to keep resolutions.