Greetings and welcome to 2012! I hope you have had a wonderful holiday and celebrated the New Year in your own unique savvy style. This is the 70th time I have ushered in a new year, though admittedly I can?t recall the earliest ones, and I can?t speak of the most fun ones.
At the start of this 2012, I have many wishes for all: the usual health, joy, fulfillment, prosperity and whatever your special family values might be. But this year, following on a year of so much upheaval and for many in economic pain, I especially wish for positive attitudes. As the saying goes, ?Don?t sweat the small stuff!? And, of course, reach out and remember to love. With or without sex, good relationships are best. Put effort into reaching out. We all need more connection.
Connections come in so many forms and can often be pleasantly unexpected. A young friend of mine attended a long-running holiday party in Florida hosted by two community icons … two artist-musician-hippy community icons. My friend related that he had finally discovered the secret to life. This excerpt is from an email he sent me the following day:
***The host was a musician who played several instruments, and his living room was set up to form a band stage. There were people seated along the wall and a makeshift VIP section on the upstairs walkway that looked down over the band. Six men, all pushing 60 or more, jammed out on guitars, drums, bass and piano, while one woman beat a set of conga drums. When the host, on electric guitar, broke into Stevie Ray Vaughan?s ?Pride and Joy? and started to sing the lyrics, ?Yeah, I love my baby … Heart and soul … Love like ours won?t never grow old … She?s my sweet little thang … She?s my pride and joy …? I looked up to see the hostess dancing her heart out, quickly followed by several other couples.***
***Dr. Dorree, I grew up with these people. I went to school with their daughter, and we?ve been friends all our lives. But when we were younger, we were convinced that our parents were crazy and that we, as a result of being raised by this village of hippy musicians and artists, were destined to be just as nuts. But there were three generations of people at that party, many of whom had been coming since the 1980?s, and every year it?s the elders who play the loudest, dance the hardest, and party the longest … there?s something uniquely amazing in their attitude toward life. Nothing slows them down. Here we thought they were crazy, but all along they?ve had the secret to true happiness.***
If my young friend can start to see a continuity of joy as evidenced by his elders, then we should all be able to learn a similar lesson. And he?s absolutely right: attitude is everything. Especially in a world where there are so many negative people and bad things happening every day, all around us, we can easily find ourselves miserable and unhappy. But attitude is something that requires a conscious, active effort — and, no, there is not an ?app? for that.
So I challenge all of my colleagues, friends, family and fans to just try. Think positively and remain open to new lessons in 2012. Maybe, just maybe, if we can learn to appreciate how others live, we can step out of our own judgments and just possibly make some small steps to understanding our rapidly changing world.