I don't usually make resolutions, but I heard a pretty good one the other day that I might try on for size.

Last Sunday at church in between breaking up my daughters' constant bickering and stifling their sighs of boredom, I actually heard something the priest said during his sermon.

"Replace indifference with kindness," he stated simply.

This declaration might have passed me by in another moment when I was crawling beneath a pew to retrieve one of my daughter's Blendy Pens or Polly Pocket dolls, but for some reason it reached me in a rare moment of clarity. Not only did I hear it, but I got it.

Later we were in the car talking about what it meant. My oldest daughter mistakenly took the "difference" in the word "indifference" to mean we should embrace each others' differences. I told her that was also a good thing, but not what he meant. What he meant I told her was that too often in life we fail not by doing something wrong, but by doing nothing at all.

The priest went on to say these acts of kindness need not be major – they can be minor things we do in our everyday lives that in a sense "pay it forward." A smile, a pleasant word, running an errand for a friend, giving someone directions – these are all simple things that help us replace indifference with kindness.

Okay, so I know about these resolutions. You stop going to the gym by mid-February. You're back on carbohydrates by the end of March. Those books you meant to read are still by your bedside and covered with dust by April. But this one may just stick ...


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