If 2012 could talk, what would it say?
Did you send or receive any of those annual family updates over the holidays? You know what I mean; the letters people send that highlight their accomplishments, announce how their families have grown (or, sadly, shrunk) and include a snapshot or two.
After reading a few of these letters, I began to wonder about the year ahead. If 2012 sent us a message, what would it say? It might go something like this …
Hey. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m 2012, and I just moved in. Since we’ll be spending the next 365 days together, I thought I’d send you this note so you can learn more about me and my hopes, wishes and intentions.
My family, the Years, comes from a long line of accomplishments and challenges. And, just when we think we’ve seen it all, something always seems to sneak up from behind to surprise us.
Right before he left, my older brother, 2011, sat me down and told me all about the heartbreaks and joys you experienced during his tenure. From horrific natural disasters to amazing miracle cures, it sounds like you’ve had quite the ride.
Just the other day, my cousin, Decade, was reminiscing about the good old days. She told me how technology caught on like wildfire during her time, and proudly outlined how far you’ve come since that silly rumor circulated that suggested Y2K would mark the end of the world. I hear that old rumor is being recycled. Hmmm.
But what really captured my attention is a conversation that I had with my grandparents. They’ve been watching, and are astonished by how you’re treating one another. Grandma Century told me she expected that bullying and harassment would have stopped by now. “It’s such archaic, nasty behavior,” she said. And Grandpa Era … well, he nearly rolled over when he saw how cruel people can be online. He actually asked, “What ever happened to looking someone in the eye and being thoughtful?” I don’t know, Gramps.
Do you remember our dear friends Respect, Integrity and Kindness? They’ve been away, and called last week to let me know they’re coming back. I’m so excited! They said they’re tired of lying low, and asked me to let you know that this time they’re here to stay. It seems like forever since we’ve seen them! Oh ya, they’re driving all the way here with Patience. I bet you haven’t seen him on the road for a while!
Get this. The HR Department made a surprise announcement the other day that Professionalism is coming back to work! That’s so awesome! There’s talk that High Standards might also be returning, but no one’s willing to confirm it.
On the home front, I’ve decided that 2012 is the year to evict Greed. He simply doesn’t belong in our community anymore. To take his place I invited Gratitude to move in, right next door to Courtesy. They have both signed long-term leases.
Between you & me, my new little sister, 2013, is expected to arrive in about 52 weeks. The scary part is that my parents are relying on me to make sure I get our home in tip-top shape before she comes along. My mom and dad, Will and Grace, won’t let up! Their exact words were, “2012, we expect you to create a civil world for your sister to live in.” Talk about a tall order!
The thing is, I don’t want to let them down. The only way I can see to get this all done is with your help. Are you in? Good. Here’s what I need you to do:
Clean up your own back yard – Not to sound cliché or anything, but before you criticize the behavior of others, work on your own.
Build a solid community – Become actively involved in your neighborhood and keep an eye out for one another.
Respond to telephone calls & e-mails promptly – Show people that they matter by replying to their requests in a timely manner.
Spend quality time with others – Slow down, listen and share.
Show up on time – Do whatever you must to ensure that people never have to wait for you or your promises again. Ever.
Make your life a gossip-free, whine-free and bully-free zone – Those qualities don’t look good on anyone.
Treat yourself and others well – Show others how you’d like to be treated by treating them and yourself with respect and care.
Be authentic – It’s time to lose your veneer and show people who you really are, not who you think they want to see.
Slow Down – Take more time to get where you’re going ~ on the road, in your life and with your decisions.
Say please and thank you – Enough said.
Honor the earth & keep her healthy – Do your part to keep our environment clean.
Live your life like you mean it – As my family always says, “The Years go by quickly” (it’s an inside joke). Before you know it, you’ll be at the other end of this chapter of your life. Live it with Passion.
We don’t have much time together, so let’s get at it. You do your part and I’ll do mine. Feel free to stay in touch – I welcome your ideas, and look forward to receiving your annual newsletter at the end of my contract on December 31st! Until then, take care.
So, there you have it. A letter from 2012. How cool is that? The next question is, what are you going to do with it?
Sue Jacques is The Civility CEO™, an executive consultant who helps individuals & businesses gain confidence, earn respect and create courteous corporate cultures.
Do you have a conundrum for The Civility CEO™? Please send it to advice@TheCivilityCEO.com. Your question could be featured in an upcoming post!
©Copyright 2012 Sue Jacques ~ The Civility CEO™. All rights reserved. You are welcome to copy, quote or share as long as the content is intact and the writer is credited. Thank you!