Self Improvement Uncategorized — 10 January 2018
Our New Year’s Resolutions

On this New Year Day let us make a different type of New Year Resolutions. Instead of attempting to improve ourselves in one way or another such as: Be kinder to others, more patient and accommodating, more charitable and giving, which are all very thoughtful and kind, let us develop a list of resolutions for practically, Improving the lives of others. There are several ways of doing so: We can donate money, donate items, or donate our time and attention. Though all these types of donations are valuable, perhaps the most impactful of all is sharing our presence with those, who aside from being in a crisis, may feel alone, abandoned and insignificant. One of my most common sayings is: “We need to matter NOT to shatter.” So, how do you help those who feel that they no longer matter, begin to feel valuable, cared about and deserving of a better life?

Feeling that we matter begins with receiving eye contact, true interest and compassion from a parent. Receiving attention and sincere caring from another, helps any individual feel, at least for the duration of the time, that the listener DOES care about him, her. Some people volunteer, on a yearly basis, to serve the elderly, distressed or lonely people by participating in preparing a hot meal at a nice environment for those a reprieve from their hunger, feel physically full and emotionally recognized and appreciated. Perhaps, for a while, nothing matters more to disenfranchised individuals. Regrettably, these social events happen only a few times a year. The rest of the time, the recipient of the food and attention lack the ongoing contact and caring they deserve.

Having friends who care about us is one of the main factors in maintaining our health and wellbeing. Those who are in need of food, shelter and clothing are absorbed with survival issues, which override all social needs.

How would you feel if you were told that you literally saved a life of a stranger by helping serve a meal or offered a coat to an individual who may have otherwise perished on a cold night on the street, because he/she was homeless, hungry or abandoned?

In addition to the practical needs for survival, all humans need to be connected to others for their safety and security. It is no wonder that we may see several people huddled together in the park at night seeking the physical and emotional support of other people who share their circumstances.

Our society does provide for some homeless shelters, food and warmth for the needy, but, I am dubious that any of these facilities gets involved with the emotional, psychological and suffering of this population. My sister in law, who lives in Southern California developed a series of talks and delivered them to the homeless population. Not only did they clamor to attend these presentations, they participated and contributed to the discussions and fully appreciated her presence and delivery.

Today, we may choose to reassess the nature of our New Year Resolutions and perhaps add some consideration to our contribution to those who are less fortunate than we are. When we act on this resolution, we will feel emotionally blessed as we help others survive and feel worthy!!!!

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About Author

Offra Gerstein, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in clinical practice in Santa Cruz, California for over 25 years, and specializes in relationship issues for couples and individuals for improved quality of life. Her work includes: mate selection, marriage, long term relationships, gay and lesbian couples, work relationships, parenting issues, family interactions, friendships, and conflict resolutions. Offra has lectured extensively to various groups, conducted support groups for several organizations, and has been writing a weekly column "Relationship Matters" for the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 2001.

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