Oh, birthdays. Some of us have enjoyed a large number of these days. Others have endured many more. Too many people only encountered a few.

But my number of years continues rising. And my number of lessons learned does also.

I’ve written books about suggested guidelines. I’ve spoken about them. I wish I’d wisely followed all the lessons I’ve been taught. If I did, I’d be a much better man than I am. For this blog on my birthday, I’ll mention a few.

These are very important to me. Imagine what this world would be like if we all obeyed them.

* Love everyone. No matter how they act or what they believe or what they’ve done, love them. Don’t approve of behavior or deny damaging addictions. Speak against wrong. But love everyone every day.

* Forgive. Not only those who ask for forgiveness or realize they’ve done wrong. Forgive, refusing to hold anything against anyone. Forgiveness, like love, is not a feeling. It’s a decision to no longer hold something against someone else.

* Talk to someone. A friend. A counselor. A mentor. A pastor. A life coach. Someone who will listen, ask open ended questions, and help you identify deep inner hurt. Talk to someone who listens well, loves deeply, and is there for you. This can help with the forgiveness, also.

* Begin and end each day with thankful thoughts. Notice the good. Appreciate the often ignored. Write them down. Thank God and other people. Smile, nod, and give thanks.

* Dream big. As we work to be faithful in every day responsibilities, let’s imagine making a large difference in this hurting world.

Today, what I want for my birthday is to become better at each of these actions. I’ll try.

Will you join me?