“Close the blasted door!” We often hear other choice expletives used in expressing spontaneous anger. However, people who season their tongues with grace find themselves substituting gentler words like “Oh snap!” “What the heck!” or “Darn!” Prim and proper as that may sound, it actually takes an impressive level of tongue-control. Words are powerful. As we seek to call forth things into our lives as if they were, this time of year presents a perfect opportunity to choose between yet another resolution or an amazing new affirmation.
The word ‘blast’ itself conjures certain robust images. In Grammar School chemistry, we studied about the blast furnace. A favourite family hymn declares, ‘Our shelter from the stormy blast.’ At Jiuquan, Satish Dhawan and nearby French Guiana, Chinese, Indian and European rockets blast off into the great unknown with comparable frequency as Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. Today, you and I are poised to blast off into the great unknown of 2014.
Statistics are not kind to traditional New Year resolutions. Affirmations are more proactive. Unlike passive resolutions, affirmations constantly remind us of who we are and what we plan to do. We bind them around our necks, place abbreviated versions in prime locations such as the bathroom mirror, the fridge, inside the front door for when you go out. For me, the word B-L-A-S-T spells out an acronym that captures the five basic goals of personal advancement; one for each finger. It has transformed my life and I’m sure it will do the same for you.
B …Begin! After all is said, let’s get it done.
L …Legacy – be ever mindful of it.
A …Annual check-ups, annual check ups, annual check ups.
S …Spread positive energy
T …Track your progress
The great German writer, Goethe, declared, “What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Even when we say, “I am going to do this,” there is danger in that moment. That relieves the mental pressure, but in reality: nada. We are already resting on our laurels, counting our chickens before they’re hatched. Instead we should be moving quickly to set out concrete, time-sensitive, verifiable plans for personal progress. Whatever you desire in 2014, when are you going to begin? Don’t wait for midnight December 31st. Only now is the acceptable time!
Sinach’s hit Gospel song, I Know Who I Am is taking churches by storm. However it is not enough just to know who we are, in a vacuum. We must move beyond concern for our own selfish needs. We must do our level best to advance the Kingdom and the common welfare of our brothers and sisters. Stop telling young people the world is going to end, like Rev Harold Camping who departed this year. Sometimes we catch ourselves lamenting how children nowadays are this and that. We ought to be latching on to their brilliance with all the new communication technology so we ourselves don’t get left behind. Let us focus instead on providing a platform for their progress as we leave our marks in the sands of time.
Annual check up, annual check-up, annual check-up… Everyone hears about it, yet so many neglect it – even the educated. We cannot entirely prevent cancer. Thankfully, with regular check-ups your doctor can diagnose a condition early and nip it in the bud. Yet, some women can get so caught up with taking care of others, guess who they forget? Men oftentimes take better care of their cars than their bodies. Typically, they may not seek medical attention until flat on their backs, or only after the condition interrupts work or bedroom performance. There are twelve months in every year. Pap smear, PSA, mammogram and cholesterol – why not ‘pay yourself first?’ Why not get these out of the way in January? Then we have the whole rest of the year to focus on everything else.
Spread Positive Energy
‘Dominique qui dou’ masks a deeply divided body politic. Red against Blue, Catholic against Protestant, natives against returnees and ex-pats. We can do better than that. We are all distinctive in our own ways and bring unique gifts to the table. Reconciliation and outreach can enhance our habitation on this precious piece of land we all call home. Rule of law must prevail as well as agreed-upon mechanisms for how that rule is established.
Science teaches us, that left to its own devices, nature tends toward disorder. This is the concept of entropy, Isaac Newton’s Second Law of Thermodynamics. On a personal level, in the home, school, workplace and community, are you the one placing an encouraging arm around the shoulders of those going through difficult times. Are you the one telling a child about to give up, “Come on. You can do it. Let’s give it another shot.” Are you just a spectator, gossiper or an avowed critic of those who are trying – or are you a soldier marching on to war against, domestic abuse, addiction, underperformance and underdevelopment? Do people automatically turn to you for good cheer and that smile that banishes doom and gloom? Things automatically begin to get better just because you have become known for spreading positive energy. Let us commit to be change agents in 2014.
Track Your Progress
Even though our outer bodies may be breaking down, our inner spirit is being strengthened day by day. We grow in wisdom as we learn from our mistakes. Edison did. How many times did he fail in in his effort to discover the light bulb? God is not finished with us yet. Our job is to keep hammering away. Check you to-do list at lunchtime, and at the end of each day. Did this week bring us closer to our target or did we fritter much time away with frivolous stuff?
In 1493 Columbus pronounced a blessing on this land by naming it after the Lord’s Day. After 500 years, this blessing is on the verge of breaking through! We are the chosen ones. Our task is to roll out the red carpet and usher in the restoration and overflow of God’s favour. The secret lies in the language that we use on ourselves, especially at this time of year.
Look at your fingers. How do you feel you are doing with your five basic goals you have chosen for personal progress? Cadence-lypso maestro Halibut, declared that we should give our tongues a vacation – a vacation from the negativity that so easily engulfs us. Henceforth, we close the door on 2013, gently and with gratitude. Together, we B.L.A.S.T off into 2014. Make this your mantra. This is a year pregnant with promise and opportunity for those whose time has come to sparkle!
Dr. Sam Christian is surgeon who runs the Urgent Care on 137 Bath Road. It offers general medical care, office surgery, acupuncture and microdermabrasion. He is Medical Adviser to the Dominica Cancer Society and author of the faith and fitness nutrition book, ‘Mannafast Miracle.’ Dr. Christian can be reached at 440-9133 or by writing to email@example.com.