February 13, 2013 By Jack Jodell.
Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian churches marks the beginning of Lent. This Lenten season commemorates the passion and death of Jesus Christ, whom Christians believe is the son of God. It is a season of self-reflection, penance, abstinence,, and charity which lasts approximately 6 weeks.
Regardless of whether you are a believer or not, this is an excellent time for self-examination. It is never a bad thing for us to actively reflect on what we have done as well as what we have failed to do over the past year. Doing so is healthy and can often lead us to positive outcomes. For example, have we been selfish, greedy, thoughtless, wasteful, overly aggressive, deceitful, or dishonest? Have we been overly impatient, rude, or thoughtless with friends, family, co-workers, or employers? Have we invariably unnecessarily hurt their feelings in the process? Have we been bitter, scornful, or gluttonous? Have we ignored others in need when we could have just as easily given them aid or comfort? On a more serious level, have we been guilty of murder, theft, or an illicit sexual affair? Have we graciously forgiven those who may have done us wrong? Have we always tried to practice the Golden Rule of do unto others as you would have them do unto you?
Since none of us is perfect, I’m sure we all have been guilty of one or more of these things. If we can honestly recognize our own faults and transgressions, and work to overcome or reverse them over the next 6 weeks and beyond, we will not only find we are happier with ourselves, but each of us, in our own individual way, will have made this world a better place for everyone. Shall we give it a try?