In the spirit of end of the year lists, I’ve picked a dozen favorite snippets from my 2017 blog posts. This was like picking a favorite child but in my ongoing effort to save you all reading time, I forced myself to whittle my original 18 down to 12. Click on the links to get the full story.

1. First world debates: It’s sobering to remember that some people don’t have the money to pay for necessities, much less gifts, whether online or local. Some of our neighbors on planet earth are hungry, living in dangerous places, fleeing war zones, living with addictions or family violence. What a luxury it is to debate the best way to spend and save our discretionary money.

2. Don’t complicate giving
stuff away. Sometimes figuring out the best place to take stuff can be a hassle. Relax, just keep giving. Trying to be too pure about the details can tie up energy. In these troubled times free your energy for the truly major political issues like caring for the poor, healing relationships, and protecting the environment.

3. Going Beyond my bubble: Perhaps the most life-giving action I can take is to enter into the world of people who think differently from me on political issues. Learn to love those who voted differently from oneself by understanding them better.

4. Lessons learned from pruning paper:  plus Strategies:
a. One thing leads to another.
b. Uncovering history can be a sacred experience in seeing the categories of our lives evolve.
c. Most everything takes longer than anticipated.

5. Media Literacy: It’s going to be impossible to make good political decisions if we can’t even agree on what the facts are. A population that can be swayed by propaganda and biased news is being hacked even if the voting machines aren’t. Our minds are being played with. I think one of the most important steps to building a healthy democracy is to recognize false advertising.

6. Letting go of health: I don’t wish bad health or an accident on anyone – But wait! Maybe I do. Some lessons can only be learned the hard way. My broken arm has slowed me down, but has taught me a lot

7. Letting go of Anger: Let go of the anger against the person. Keep the outrage with evil.

8. Letting Go of Mistakes: We can’t go back and undo the past – we only learn from it to do better in the future. Mistakes are the tools of learning.

9. Letting Go of Being Right: Check for the flaws in my own position. Check for the truth in my adversary’s position.

10. Plastic Do’s & Don’ts: DO NOT put plastic bags in curbside recycling. Make a place.

11. Letting Go of Worry: Differentiate between productive worry and unproductive worry.

12. Wasting Time vs. Saving Time“Haste makes waste.” Cultivate patience. Make time to read, think, laugh, exercise, and pray. Slow down enough to be mindful of the people and places around me.

Bonus: Nature can be a window to the soul.

Tweet any of the above if you like.