By Carleton Varney- Special to the Palm Beach Daily News
Often when the New Year dawns, I write about resolutions, about things I plan to change in my life.
Such changes needn’t be earthshaking. Small choices, I’ve found, can add up to a more pleasant and satisfying life.
I begin with a small suggestion at the start of the day — to make your own bed. As a child, my mother made certain that each morning my sister and I made our beds. We even learned to do hospital corners. While some may call it a chore, we thought of it as our morning exercise. I still do.
Making my bed starts each morning with a feeling of accomplishment and reminds me that the little things do matter. Starting the day off on a positive note makes it easier to carry that feeling throughout the day.
And as we move into January, I am taking time to remind myself that little things matter, including saying “please” and “thank you.” A little kindness can help brighten the lives of those around us. Every person you meet throughout the day, stranger or not, deserves a moment of kindness, just as you do.
And showing kindness extends to our planet, as well. How sad it makes me to see empty soda cans and gum wrappers littering our beautiful world. How difficult is it to hold on to those items until you reach a recycle bin or trash can? There’s almost always one nearby.
As a parent and grandparent, I’ve learned how important it is to take a moment to help teach little ones table manners, including how to use silverware. It might take some time but, oh, it makes mealtimes together much more enjoyable, with a lot less stress and mess.
These are all small things: a well-made bed, the niceties of being polite, the satisfaction that comes from not littering and the teaching of social graces to the next generation.
Make no mistake: The pride we can take in our daily choices can ripple outward into pride for ourselves, our homes, our communities and our country. And making one good choice, I've found, can lead to making another — and then another.
And wouldn’t that help make 2022 a better year for all of us?