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Aiming your Arrows in the Right Direction



Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


At the end of the day, all you can be responsible for is your own self.  When you look into the mirror, you've got to be able to say, I like the person that I see.  At least to the extent that you are capable of controlling who that person is. 


   One of the New Year's resolutions I've been thinking about over the past couple of days has to do with self-control.  I've been thinking about how some of my friends, family members, and acquaintances have shared with me over the years how that's an area that's a challenge for them.  It's anything from playing too many video games, to just not buckling down the way they'd like to, or not being the sort of parent they want to be.  In those respects, I think there's a little bit of guilt associated with those shortcomings.


   Guilt is such a healthy emotion in so many ways.  Guilt kind of keeps your nose to the grindstone.  I think that in order for you to be human you have to hang on to that ability to feel guilt to let it be the 'stone in your shoe', something needs to kind of continually grate at you and sort of bother you a little bit to get you think about the places where you could be, or should be, and hopefully will be putting your attention toward doing a much better job. 


   I've never really pretended to be a perfect person, or even a terrific person.  I'm just a person who tries to be good - and I think that counts for something.  I've talked about it before with the metaphor, where you're aiming your arrows.  Your aim may be abysmal, you may never, or only rarely hit the target, your arrows may be flying wildly and sometimes the wind blows them in the wrong direction, but you've really got two directions in your life that you can aim your arrows.  You can aim them towards the good and try to have your actions lead to making the world a better place, yourself a better person, the people around you happier, saner, better off.  Or, you can turn around and face the opposite direction and aim those arrows in the direction of harm, destruction, backbiting, gossip, misery and all the other negative things.  There are some out thereand indeed all of us at some time, too—who aim their arrows in the direction of harm. 


   With this year's resolutions, I'm going to not only decide to shoot my arrows in the right direction, the direction of good, but I'm actually going to work on improving my aim a little bit.  What I think makes a good person is the direction they pull the bowstring and the direction they are trying to head into; now I'd like to move myself and my listeners and readers to move us all in a direction of trying to do a better job of achieving the things that we're aiming at. 


   What that means is instead of saying I want to be in better shape, I want to be nicer to the people around me, I want to be a more effective advocate, I want to be a more generous tither, or I want to be less beholden to addictions; instead of saying I want to do these things to really sit down and think, why is it I haven't?


This editorial was transcribed and adapted for print from a recent Katherine Albrecht radio program, by David Deschesne, with her permission.  Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D. is a syndicated radio talk show host on the Genesis Communication Network. Listen to her program live daily, or download her podcast for listening at any time at Katherine’s website is: