This quote surfaced several years ago when my Fortune 500 company employer put all of our jobs at risk by downsizing the regional office: "Hard times don't build character, they reveal it."
The thought has recently occurred to me that the challenges we face - if they don't destroy us - might possibly do both: reveal and simultaneously build our character, and that might be a good lens through which to review this passing year.
Rather than asking myself what I accomplished in 2013, I'm asking myself this New Year's Eve, how have I grown? That's a much more difficult question. My answer: It's much easier for me now to ask for help when I need it. Whether it's reaching out to someone to assist me across an icy pavement - I use a cane - or seeking guidance during a conflict in my community from a neighbor who happens to be a Benedictine nun. We easily connected with one another despite the differences in our religious beliefs, and she proved to be a wonderful source of support and wise advice.
So I'm looking forward to a neighborhood New Year's Eve party this evening while focusing on further development in 2014 of personal characteristics of compassion and loving-kindness.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO KATALUSIS READERS AND FACEBOOK FRIENDS!