BARBER: We have a long way to go

This might be the first year I haven’t made a New Year’s resolution.

No matter, the ones I made in the past I rarely kept, anyway.

Diet? I did one year, for about 45 minutes. And why? Am I the only one who’s noticed the first three letters of the word are “d-i-e,” and the fourth letter is a “t,” which resembles a gravesite cross?

Get into better shape? I did, if you call an upside down light bulb a shape a person would want to resemble.

Be a kinder person?

H-m-m-m, I don’t remember ever making that my New Year’s resolution. Rather, as I’ve become older, it’s become easier to be the cranky, crusty, cantankerous ole’ scalawag some say that I am.

So if it’s not too late – we are, after all, over a week into the new year and like I said, by this date every year I’ve already broken my resolution, anyway – I’d like to make the latter my goal, my ambition, my intent, my promise (yes, my resolution), for the new year – to be a kinder person.

I admit that I am, every now and then, short-tempered and impatient. Sometimes I become too quick to judge, and too slow to forgive.

At the same time, I know lots of “kind” people – heck, I’m married to one – and it seems to me they’re always smiling, are always happy and at peace, and always have kind things to say about others; even when the others are people, well, like me.

That’s the kind of person I’d like to be – a kinder, happier person who is at peace with himself, and all that is around him.

Good luck to me. It’s gonna take some work. And patience. And the grace, to forgive.


Revolutionary idea, don’t you think?

If someone cuts me off while driving, I’ll do my best to smile and wave to them with my whole hand, and not just one finger.

If someone says something absurd and inappropriate, I’ll just smile, and stay quiet.

If someone gets elected to the presidency who claims to be more intelligent than our intelligence agency, who claims to know more about our enemies than our top generals, who said he will build walls, not open doors, who calls people names and belittles them like a playground bully, well, I’m going to just stay quiet …

… looks like I’m not the only one who needs to resolve to be a more kind person.

Me and Mr. Trump, we have a long way to go.

David L. Barber is the retired editor of the Manistee News Advocate. He will be contributing columns weekly for the News Advocate. You can contact him at

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