It is January. It is the start of a new year. Many people make resolutions (promises) to themselves in January. Some people want to lose weight. Other people want to quit smoking. Others want to learn something new, like cooking or a new language.
Do you have a resolution for 2015?
Pope Francis has 10 suggestions for having a good year. Let’s look at them:
These 10 ideas are helpful for most people.
If we ignore #5, we see that all of the sentences begin with verbs. These verbs are called imperatives. Imperatives are commands. Some examples are, “Stand up,” “Sit down,” and “Write your name.”
Imperatives are verbs with no –s. They usually begin the sentence. The subject is “you,” but we don’t write or say it unless we are emphasizing the command. We understand “you” without saying it.
“Please come in,” is a polite imperative. “Come in, please,” is also OK. “Please” comes either at the beginning or at the end of the sentence, but not in the middle.
“You shut your mouth!” is an impolite imperative. “Shut your mouth, you!” is also impolite, and more emphatic.
Let’s look at the imperatives from the picture. The imperatives are underlined.
1. Live and let live: Live your life, and allow other people to live their lives. It’s OK to be you. It’s OK to think what you think. But don’t try to change other people. Allow other people to think what they think.
2. Be giving of yourself to others: Help other people. (Notice “be” is the imperative form. Other examples are, “Be happy” or “Don’t be sad.”)
3. Proceed calmly in life: “Proceed” means “go.” Don’t rush. No hurry. Be calm.
4. Keep a healthy sense of leisure. “Leisure” is “free time.” “Keep” here means “have.” Have free time. Have time for yourself and for your family. Don’t work 24 hours a day. Don’t play 24 hours a day, either. Work some, and play some. Both are important.
5. Sunday is for family. There is no imperative here. The day of the week is not important. Saturday is for family, too. Maybe Wednesday is for family. But create some time to be with your family. Family is important.
6. Create dignified jobs for the young. “Dignified” means “deserves respect.” A dignified job deserves respect. Young people need good jobs.
7. Take care of nature. Protect nature. Preserve nature. Don’t litter. Recycle. Be nice to the earth.
8. Let go of negative things. “Let go” means “release.” The opposite of “let go” is “hold on to.” It is important to release negative things in your life. Hold on to good things. Let go of bad things.
9. Respect other people’s beliefs. Allow other people to be different than you. It’s OK to be different. Respect differences.
10. Shout the call for peace. “Shout” is to talk loudly. Use every opportunity to promote peace. Be vocal.
Do you think these are good ideas for having a good New Year? What can you add to the list?