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Minnich: A good time to hit ‘restore’ on core values

The day after Christmas can be a bit of a letdown; the excitement of the season’s best hopes has to go back to work to meet the expectations of what now.

What now for the nation can be a depressing thought of its own. Was there an impeachment of a president? If not, is the same guy in office? What now, indeed.

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Moments like these, it might be useful to lean in a little closer to tasks you can work on at home, in the quiet of your mind and the glimmer of an ember of good intentions.

Not merely the clichés of New Year’s resolutions: I’m thinking more about taking inventory, even if it means dusting off some things that have been resting on the back shelves for too long.

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Core values. When was the last time I sat down and really took stock of my core values. What got lost, what can be restored or replaced or what has to be tossed into the trash-bin labeled Forgetaboutit.

Making a list:

Do the right thing for the right reasons and accept the consequences.

Cultivate memories and experiences, but pull the weeds of regret. Harvest the joy of the moment and anticipate delight in the future.

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Be informed and communicate candidly. Telling people only what they want to hear is both condescending and self-serving.

Going along with a bully is cowardly. Stand up to those who abuse others. Avoid the company of zealots and call them out when their extremism is used as a weapon to intimidate the well-intentioned and reasonable people who trust in justice.

If you can’t talk with friends about politics, ethics, religion and sex, maybe it’s time to take another look at the definition of “friends.”

There are friends and there are acquaintances. Acquaintances may smile more, but they can be more judgmental and less supportive. Being a friend is more important than having friends.

Avoid too much exposure to judgmental people, lest I become one of the crowd.

Never pander for favor. Don’t beg for anything; earn it. Expect what is due, deliver what I promise, be grateful for what I have, and don’t whine about what I don’t have.

I follow ideas and ideals, not fads or personalities. Personality is no substitute for integrity.

A homely face and unappealing body can be the best place to find a great mind and lovely heart.

Respect is a two-way street, but I’m willing to acknowledge that I might be the one going the wrong way. Part of that is to know when to stop arguing reason with someone who is defending an anchor of a paradigm essential to their own sense of identity.

Treat people the way I want to be treated; mindful of needs and generous with help, but I won’t allow myself to be manipulated into turning control of my own life over to those who would abuse the gift.

Know when to ask for help — or accept it with grace when others volunteer it. Repeat this daily until it sticks.

Forgive myself, so I can forgive others. But don’t enable weak or predatory relationships.

Tip too much in restaurants when the server is trying their best regardless of their success. Be slow to complain to management about bad service because management will often turn my remarks on someone who is already overworked and underpaid.

Remember, as I continue to seek God, that He isn’t lost. We just can’t seem to come up with a fool-proof way of recognizing what God really is all about even when we’re in the middle of just being. Any human attempting to wrap a mere mind around the supreme being is working with too little material.

Dean Minnich is a career journalist and served two terms in public office. His column appears on Thursdays. He writes from Westminster and can be addressed at dminnichwestm@gmail.com.

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