A few thoughts from near and far to ponder as the new year looms. Many I picked up during the year. Some are wise, some are funny.
All are worth pondering:
* "Make 12-12-12 count! Do something that you will remember what you did a year from now. Pay it forward, do something that will feed your soul, make a real commitment and stick to it.
"Reconnect with an old friend or family member, make a decision to change a bad habit, make a commitment to get your body, the temple of your being to get healthy, both physically, emotionally, and spiritually ... make a change, make a difference, one that will last, and that you WILL remember next year on 12-12-13!
"What will you do today?"
-- Carrie Quartuccio, Davis Mental Health caseworker, talking about a meaningless day on the calendar, but actually a good way to look at every day.
* "The only difference between a pigeon and the American farmer today is that a pigeon can still make a deposit on a John Deere."
-- Jim Hightower, Texas politician and populist.
* "I remind people all the time that when we go to God in prayer, we have to be willing to listen to what He says, not decide ahead of time what answer we will find acceptable and then ignore everything else. Some people listen ... Others just wonder why their prayers aren't being answered."
-- Rev. Karl Dumas, Pastor, Ogden First Baptist Church, discussing the giving, and taking, of good advice.
* "During a recent panel on the numerous failures of American journalism, I proposed that almost all stories about government should begin: 'Look out! They're about to smack you around again!'"
-- Molly Ivins, Texas humorist and political critic.
* "I don't think it's right, if he's going to go do that, that the rest of the world rolls over and let's someone take their rights away."
-- Wanda Huffaker, Utah Library Association, at a recent public forum on book censorship. She was discussing her brother, who is going to defend her rights in Afghanistan.
* "One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am -- a reluctant enthusiast ... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic ... It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it ...
"I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."
-- Edward Abbey, Utah author and wilderness advocate.
* "Scientists, if the topic is potential cosmic calamities, think about your bedside manner. When discussing life-extinguishing meteors or planet-eating black holes, never say 'highly unlikely.' Remember, you are talking to a nation of people who kept buying Powerball tickets even after the odds passed 1 in 175 million."
-- Gail Collins, New York Times columnist.
* "The other day Kelly, an OUTreach youth said: 'I'm so glad I failed at suicide, because life is amazing.'
"It's incredible how Ogden and Utah has been changing, how minds and hearts are opening to LGBT youth and keeping them safe. Maybe one day, the Kellys of the community won't even think of suicide; they will always know that they are loved, and that life is amazing."
-- Marian Edmonds, director of Ogden OUTreach, a resource center for gay teens.