Dear Annie: Here I am, 78 years old, heading into another New Year's resolution. I'm hoping you will let me share my sentiments with your readers.
With all the chaos, craziness and crassness currently occurring in our environment, I have decided to become a drum major for justice, fairness, equality, opportunity and responsibility. Instead of waiting for others, I have decided to make it happen for myself -- and, I hope, others.
For me, no more hatred, anger, greed, selfishness, envy or fear. That's a tall order, but I can do this. Why not?
I firmly believe that love conquers hate, that light overcomes darkness. I can do it. Yes, I can! As Martin Luther King Jr. so eloquently emphasized, "darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Similarly, I know that hating people because they are "others" and "different" can be overcome and eradicated if we try. I fully agree with Nelson Mandela: "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."
I can do all this. I can see those "thousand points of light." I can be a member of that "shining city upon a hill." To those naysayers and disbelievers, I would challenge you to look in the mirror and become all that you can be. It has been saliently espoused that the most powerful force in the universe is an idea whose time has come.
Accordingly, it is possible that I can accomplish all this. If I can conceive and believe it, then I can achieve it. All I need to do is to activate and implement those 10 most empowering words: "If it is to be, it is up to me!"
I resolve to be kind, generous, forgiving and thoughtful of others. Imagine the positivity and reciprocity of this possibility. I know that I can do all this. I can "talk the talk and walk the walk" when it comes to practicing and implementing this resolution for 2019 and beyond.
Simply put, as I progress through this second decade of the 21st century and approach the eighth decade of my life, I can do this for myself -- and for you. In summary, what a fantastic and fabulous New Year's resolution -- for 2019 and beyond. -- John L. Horton
Dear John: I know this is printing a bit late in the month, but your sentiments are so positive and your positivity so contagious that I couldn't pass up sharing your letter with readers. Thanks for writing. Wishing you a very blessed rest of 2019.
Dear Annie: Recently, someone wrote to you about how someone's home was broken into during a family funeral. The burglars knew no one would be home because of the obituary that had been printed in the paper. Our family has a tradition of having someone in the home of the deceased during the funeral to prevent exactly this type of event. Family lore tells of a long-lost relative's showing up during the funeral and laying claim to some prized candlesticks, saying, "Dad wanted me to have these." -- Continually Cautious
Dear Continually Cautious: I commend your cautiousness and lament the callousness of those who would try to take advantage of people vulnerable from bereavement. Thanks for writing.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.