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Words from Winterbilt

My News Yearís Resolution - The Three Rís

Shannon Bohrer

(1/2018) Every year we make New Year resolutions and we seldom acknowledge our successes or failures. Of course, as the old saying goes, we judge others by their actions and we judge ourselves by our intentions. I do believe that having good intentions should count for something. Without our good intentions we would probably not make our resolutions, even if we donít keep them.

Another thing we do when we make our resolutions is to focus on self-improvement. Which again I think should count for something; it shows that we have good intentions. My problem is memory. I have no trouble making resolutions, but I sometimes have trouble remembering them. For this reason I decided in 2018 to make a New Year resolution that I could remember. That also shows that I have good intentions.

I spent considerable time thinking of various resolutions and how to remember them. I was going through some old notes when I came across the "Three Rís" and that instantly became my New Year resolution. The three Rís stand for Respect for yourself, Respect for others and being Responsible. I donít remember where I first heard about the three Rís or their origin, but they will be my New-Year Resolution for 2018.

"Respect for ourselves guides our morals,
respect for others guides our manners"
- Laurence Sterne

Respecting yourself, the first R includes your intentions, your actions and an honest evaluation of yourself. Asked yourself, how you fit into your family, how do you work with others and how you treat others? Examine your positive traits and your negative traits. Self-evaluation is nothing more than honest examination of who you are. Examining yourself does not mean finding traits that make you better or worse than others. We all know individuals that have an inflationary persona and believe they are better than others. From my perspective that is not a good trait - that is a flaw. Respecting yourself is not a competition with others, it is with you. So the question is; how well do you know yourself? How would others describe you? If your description of yourself is different than how others would describe you Ė then who are you?

"The past is not simply the past,
but a prism through which the subject filters his own changing self-image"
- Doris Kearns Goodwin

Respecting others is just as important as respecting who you are. When I was young - a very wise person told me that in my life I would meet many people, many of which would be different. Sometimes I would not understand the differences. I was told that just because someone was different did not mean that I was better than them, nor did it mean that they were better than me. It just meant that some people are different.

Accepting some people that have very strong differences with morals or ethics Ė may not seem normal. Understanding that profound differences exist, does not mean we have to accept the differences, we just have to accept that the differences exist. Accepting differences, without being judgmental, can be difficult, but without accepting the differences can you really respect others? In police and military training, the words "respect your enemies," is often said. Respecting your enemies does not mean you agree or even like them, you do not have to like someone to respect them. Treating people fairly, even people we do not like, is being respectful.

If we judge others just because they are different Ė does that say something about us?

"Real tolerance means respecting other people even when they
baffle you and you have no idea why they think what they think"
- G. Willow Wilson

Being responsible is the third R and it is just that simple, being responsible for your words, your actions and even your intentions. Taking responsibility can sometimes difficult. Sometimes it just seems easier to blame others for your situation. I always liked the western sport of bull riding. A large reason being that responsibility is often displayed. After falling off a bull a reporter will ask the rider what happened, meaning why did they fail? The bull riders response is often very simple, "I fell off." That is being responsible. Blaming the bull, the arena or anything else Ė is not being responsible.

There are individuals in our society that blame others for their condition, meaning whatever situation they are in Ė it is not their fault. Just as important is the fact that when not being responsible and placing the blame on others Ė they are not respecting others.

Being responsible means taking the credit for your choices, your decisions and your actions, even when they are not positive. Being responsible includes knowing yourself, respecting others and also understanding that we are all human Ė we all make mistakes.

"Each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering
 for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible"

- Viktor E. Frankl

Respecting yourself, respecting others and being responsible is more of a direction that a goal.

While the three Rís are my new yearís resolution, they are not new in my life and I cannot say that I have always followed the rules. But I can say that I have had good intentions and have tried to improve.

Happy New Year

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer