The first post of the 9th year

Today begins the 9th year of Hopeworks Community.   It is followed by about 6085 people and right now has close to 4700 posts.  There are posts on here I am honestly dismayed to admit that I wrote.   There are others I am proud to say that I wrote.   Some of the the things I thought would get a lot of attention got little.   Some things I thought would get little notice got a lot.  It started off fairly narrowly focused on mental health recovery but evolved into something about finding and building a better life (I  recognized early they were not exactly the same thing.)   The subjects are wide and varied.   The only real criteria was in some way I thought it was something important to say something about.   Two things I am proudest of is that some posts have had a remarkable staying power (I have posts 4 or 5 years old that are still read by someone almost everyday.) and the last time I actually sat down and tried to count Hopeworks Community has been read over the years from people in over a hundred countries. 

Has it mattered?   I honestly don’t know.  I suspect not nearly as much as I would like to think,  but maybe more than I think it really did.   Everyone wants to believe they have important things to say and that they say them well.   Much of what I have said has probably not been that important.   Much had probably not been said as well as I  like. 

My original idea to be honest was that if it was good for me that would be good enough for me.  I had this hope that if I was honest about me,  open to learning,  treated what connected me to people as more important than what divided me from them,  tried to listen,  tried to understand,  tried to show what courage I could muster,  cared even when it was easier not to,  and realized being fair to other people was the fairest thing I could do for me….. If I could do some of these things even a little I might take some steps,  however small,  towards becoming the kind of person I wanted to become and living the kind of life I thought it important to live. 

I hope I have made at least a little progress. 

I  think maybe you are supposed to say something wise when you are trying to mark an occasion as special and right now wise is probably not my best thing.   But I will try. 

None of it is new.   If you have read this blog at all you heard me talk about them before. 

After 8 years these are some of the things I think are important. 

You matter.  I matter.   We matter.   Too much of life is wasted trying to prove it or argue about it.   Start from the beginning.   Everything changes if you do. 

Life is hard not because it is messed up but because it is life.   What is hard is not a symptom of what is wrong with you nor is it a verdict limiting what can go right. 

Ordinary people show extraordinary courage virtually every day of their lives. 

We have an incredible ability to convince ourselves that anything we do makes sense.   We may not have a reason for everything but we seldom have trouble finding a justification for it. 

Love matters. 

Jesus was not kidding when he talked about neighbors. 

Justice should never be an elective in life. 

Dont hope you get a chance or that you can find the time to do something good.  Do it on purpose. 

Life is a lot about momentum.   If you make good things more likely the chances are good things will happen.   Find the current you want to ride. 

Success matters.   Don’t get so wound up in what is wrong you miss it when you are. 

Anticipate the best you can,  increase your capability as much as you can in things that matter,  treat important things as important,  cope with things as well as you can…. But when all fails and nothing seems to work or matter then above all things,  way above all things survive.   And look to tomorrow. 

Like I said I don’t know how wise but they seem good things to know,  good things to talk about. 

8 years seems a long time.   Thanks to each of you for the chance of a  ninth. 

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