January 10, 2015
New Year's Resolution and Personal Ethics
Beloved in Christ!
Happy New Year!
As we embark on a new year, many of us will set resolutions for ourselves. The new year is a great opportunity to set meaningful goals and work towards accomplishing them. Whether we resolve to spend more time with family, to eat healthier or exercise, we see the New Year as an opportunity for a fresh start, a new beginning.
However, towards the end of the year, we often find ourselves just where we started. It is very difficult to change our habits, character, and lifestyles. This is not about weakness, or lack of will or commitment. This is just our human nature, which has a tendency to resist change in order to preserve the status quo. We are dealing with pure physiology. Though difficult, change is not impossible. We are able to change if we try reconditioning ourselves by making small, consistent steps toward our goals.
Today, I would like to invite you to make your New Year’s resolutions with regard to your inner spiritual moral principles on which you could build your life to help you experience happiness, fulfillment, and harmony each day of your life.
Our life experience proves that in order to have a meaningful and moral life we need to develop our own personal ethics. In fact, our lifestyle, behavior, values are just a mirror of our inner moral principles that we hold in our heart. I would like to propose, not to impose, the following principles that you could incorporate into your life to help strengthen your personal ethics.
They are: The Principle of LOVE, Principle of TRUTH, Principle of JUSTICE, and Principle of MERCY
Principle of Love:
St. John the Evangelist made a profound statement that God is Love. Naturally, we all have an inner longing to love and be loved. People would feel if we treat them with love and respect or not. So, in order to have fulfilling and lasting relationship with others we should treat them with love and respect. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:35.
Principle of Truth:
During his dialogue with Pilate before his death, Jesus said: “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." John 18: 37. Our personal integrity would require us to be truthful and trustworthy people. If we lied only once, then it will be very difficult to regain back the trust from people with whom we were not honest. There is a folk proverb that says, you can go with a lie around the world, but you cannot return back because no one will trust you anymore. Another proverb teaches us that it is better to tell a bitter truth than a sweet lie. Therefore, the principle of truth will help us to maintain sustainable, healthy and trustworthy relationships with people around us, with whom we live, pray, work, and socialize.
Principle of Justice:
Justice has to do with respecting human dignity and human rights of people around us. Justice without mercy could be even cruel. For example, if we punish our children for their transgressions without mercy then they will develop inner resentment toward us. If we educate our children on principle of justice along with a good portion of mercy, love and care and understanding to their struggles then our children will grow up more caring, responsible and respectful. Therefore, upholding the principle of justice in our lives, we are encouraged to be merciful and compassionate at the same time.
Principle of Mercy:
Since we all are not perfect then we need mercy from God and people around us. Also, we should be merciful to others, who are not perfect either. We should be ready to forgive those, who sinned against us, and be ready to ask for forgiveness from those around us, whose feelings were hurt, whose dignitywas diminished, and whose human rights were abused or taken away by our, God forbid, inappropriate behavior and attitude. Therefore, our life will be more in harmony with others if we will be ready to give and receive forgiveness, pardon, and mercy.
By using those universal moral principles in our lives - Love and Truth, Justice and Mercy - we would be able to maintain a healthy, sustainable and respectful relationships, which will give us a true sense of human happiness, harmony and life fulfillment not just for this year, but rather every day of our life.