In This New Year By Lee Hendler

In this new year:
I promise to work harder at being the best me I know I can be.
I pray for the strength to be reliable and fair,
A good listener and kind friend,
A person who thinks before she speaks,
Helps before he is asked.
I promise to work harder at holding back my anger
And unleashing my joy.

In this new year:
I pray for the strength to turn away from old habits
That fit me like my favorite old gym sneakers.
My mother doesn’t like the way they look but they feel so good to me.
My sister can’t stand the way they smell—she says they make her gag.
And my dog likes to chew on the laces even though that’s not good for him.
It’s hard to give up things I’ve lived with for such a long time.

In this new year:
I pray for the courage to act
When I know an injustice has taken place,
And all around me others are choosing not to act.
I pray for the wisdom to choose action
That will make a good difference
And may persuade others to act too.

In this new year:
I pray that I can remember to remember what I promised.
I promise a lot because it is easier to say yes than no.
Then I end up saying no to my yeses.
I hope this will be the year I learn to say no and make my yeses
The promises that I can remember.

In this new year:
I pray for patience with myself and all my loved ones.
The long span of history suggests that in difficult times
Hope does more for us than despair.
I choose to be hopeful about our future
And to act based on that choice.
I will be more than content with what I have.
I will rejoice in my fullness and work to assure that others have that same privilege.
I will watch less news and see more life, listen to fewer podcasts and talk to more family members.
I will make a new friend.
I will renew an old friendship.
I will get involved in a new cause.
I will learn one new thing every day.
I will tell someone who has never heard it from me that I love them.

Booklet Section: Looking Back / Tashlich, Poems
Source: Jewish Grandparents Network