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Of New Year Wishes and Resolutions

In his latest column, Retired Col. Dencio Acop appeals to the better angels of our nature for the sake of the year ahead.

For 2017, I wish that:

We think of the larger picture whenever we make decisions impacting ourselves and other people. That we do not lose sight of the forest for the trees. That whenever difficult choices have to be made, we go for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. That we recognize that the rule of law, moral and legal, in the end is far better than any shortcut that not only undermines the justice system but compromises it fundamentally and entirely. That only the entirety of truth can correct any mistake or error.

That the haves give generously to the have-nots. By not cheating on their taxes. By not bribing officials. By not tolerating corrupt public officials. By treating their subordinates with justice and respect. By saying “no” to unfair competition, illegal activity, and plain and simple greed. By practicing honor and integrity, and avoiding hypocrisy and double standards.

That the faithful truly behave according to their faith. By not substituting words for action. By practicing what they themselves preach, through integrity and honesty. By obeying and practicing the moral law, and upholding it even in the face of persecution and personal endangerment. By not believing that worldly success automatically translates into virtuous living. By seeing through the deception and lies of idolatry via its many forms.

That the rich and powerful do not treat the poor and powerless as lesser beings deserving of inhumane treatment, simply because they are less than the rest of us; because they are unschooled and ignorant; they are dirty and talk differently; because they are the usual suspects who can be used when they serve our purpose and easily discarded when they no longer do or when it is either their skin or ours.

That we do not lose sight of the trees for the forest.

Finally, that we tend to those closest to us as we do those farthest from us. That we learn from our mistakes. As in the ill, ageing father who needs caring but is neglected and snubbed by a nearby son. As with the wife who is divorced by her husband simply because she is no longer pretty as she used to and lost all her money. Or the son who is what he is because of a neglectful mother who prioritized her ambitions when he was little. The father or mother who leaves a helpless and defenseless child. The husband or wife who pretends to be faithful but is not. The husband or wife who contributes to the ruin of a marriage and family. The family member who prioritizes self over loved ones and thus causes unhappiness to others.

And that I resolve to become a better version of myself in 2017, which can only be made possible through the mercy and grace of our Heavenly Father.