16 Resolutions, or Thoughts to Live By?

I suppose it’s still January so one can talk about resolutions for the new year, or maybe we’ll just call it sharing useful thoughts. I ran across 16 Elevating Resolutions for 2016 Inspired by Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds on Brain Pickings and liked the article so much I wanted to share. It’s a lot to digest and think about though, so one at a time is about my speed.

#1 Cultivate Honorable Relationships, by Adrienne Rich

The quote is: “An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.”

Of all the resolutions I am finding this the hardest to wrap my head around. What does it mean?

I believe it means that we are willing to break down the barriers with another person and to reveal our true inner self, our vulnerable inner core. It is a scary thing to do, but it is also beautiful because with the right person, you can form a connection that is deep and meaningful and there is nothing else quite like it in our human existence. But as she says, you can count on so few people to go there with you.

I think many people go through their entire lives without a connection like this. I have worked with many families and when you look under the surface, so many of them have problems, dramas, broken relationships, and broken people. If you have someone to connect with this deeply, this honestly, you are fortunate indeed.

So, I believe what she is saying is to look for these special people and nurture these valuable relationships.

Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929–March 27, 2012) was one of the most influential writers of poetry and prose of the 20th century, and a woman of strong convictions. She was the only person to decline the National Medal of Arts to protest the government’s plan to end funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. You can also read more about her at THIS BrainPickings LINK which contains a number of other links to her books and other articles. There is this WIKIPEDIA LINK which has a detailed biography and list of her work. Google will also point you to more ways to learn more about this remarkable woman.


About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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18 Responses to 16 Resolutions, or Thoughts to Live By?

  1. Sunni Morris says:

    With something this complicated, I think a one-at-a-time thought to live by is a good idea. I agree with you. It’s a lot to take in and most people probably never know anyone this well their entire lives. I think one reason this may be is because humans are judgemental as a whole and probably not very accepting of any “skeletons” in anyone’s closet, although we all have them. Most people can’t be openminded enough to discuss things that are private without a change of attitude toward each other afterwards. So no one ever dips down to this level in discussions. That’s just my opinion.

    I can’t wait to see what number two on the list is.


  2. ME BE in Panama says:

    My amiga Kris, I am so fortunate to have made your acquaintance. I thoroughly enjoy discussions that require me to dig deeper into the “What does it mean?” realm. And am I ever there with you sista! I agree with your assessment too. I confess I had to read it several times before I was able to consider the ‘violent’ portion being in any of my ‘honorable human relationship’. I suppose the stormy mother/daughter relationship could be considered violent. Absolute transparency is needed to get to the relationships she speaks about. Not sure if I agree with the violent part. Looking forward to other comments. Excellent post.


    • Im not sure able it the violent either. Maybe it’s the process of laying yourself bare, like cutting off layers of skin?


      • ME BE in Panama says:

        Very true Kris. Perhaps this is similar to meeting your life partner. By and I were good friends for several years, then one day he wrote me a letter telling me how deeply he cared for me. Talk about peeling back layers! Yikes, that was a violent storm of emotions. “Wait we can’t date, we have such a great friendship, we don’t want to ruin it. Plus you’re not my type.” This Friday will be our 190th month anniversary (yep, we celebrate every month — March 29th will be 16 years married)
        And I wholeheartedly agree with indacampo. Tropical retirement with others who openly discuss philosophical points of view all in a nurturing community… Life is Good.


        • I can’t think of a better place to start a relationship than a very good friendship. It was a lot like that for Joel and I too. I was afraid marriage would ruin the good thing we had but like you, it worked out very well.
          Do you follow Indacampo? I love her blog because I love the way she thinks. One day when you feel like taking a road trip we’ll have to go bug her for a few days 😀


  3. indacampo says:

    I like the change in your tag line. And I think I’m going to enjoy reading your more reflective posts that we only saw glimpses of before. 😃


    • I had been concentrating on being useful, info about Panama, etc and realized I was less and less motivated to write. So I’ve taken back the blog and am enjoying it a lot more. Glad you are too, thanks 🙂


      • indacampo says:

        And you know you are more than welcome to wander down this way any time! Just not during Carnaval por favor. We will be in hiding. 🙂


  4. Pingback: Resolution #2 | The Panama Adventure

  5. Pingback: Resolution #3 – Live the Questions | The Panama Adventure

  6. Pingback: Resolution #4 – Pay Attention to the World | The Panama Adventure

  7. Pingback: Resolution #5 – Make Room for “Fruitful Monotony” | The Panama Adventure

  8. Pingback: Resolution #6 – Refuse to Play the Perfection Game | The Panama Adventure

  9. Pingback: Resolution #7 – Master the Art of Loving | The Panama Adventure

  10. Pingback: Resolution #8 – Choose Understanding Over Judgement | The Panama Adventure

  11. Pingback: Resolution #9 – Make Use of Your Suffering | The Panama Adventure

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