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My life, my struggles, my circumstances have changed over the years, but God has not. Neither has his word. Endure through your sadness. You can finish the sentence yourself—just insert your adjective of choice. So many. People of all shapes, sizes and personalities are single, and people of all shapes, sizes and personalities are married. What is attractive to one is not attractive to another. In the Western world at least, more and more people are marrying later in life or not at all. But God is more powerful than any social force or trend. He is sovereign. Likewise, those who are married are married because God is sovereign.

Those who are widowed are widowed because God is sovereign. God is more powerful than our social situations, our looks, our personalities, and our insecurities. The older I get, the easier it is to believe this lie which is closely related to the first. When I was younger, thinner and less cynical, it was easy to imagine that God would send a husband along for me. I was amazing back then! But I need to remember that in fact I am not unchosen. God himself has chosen me. And at the risk of stating the obvious, if God can create the universe just by speaking Genesis 1 ; if he can cause Pharaoh to let the Israelites go Exodus 12 ; if he can raise Jesus Christ from the dead Luke 24 ; if he can use the purposes of evil men for his good purposes Acts ; if he can give us new life and change us from people who hate him to people who want to serve him 1 Peter 1 ; if he can—well, do I need to list every event in the Bible?

If God can do all this, then he can find me and you a husband, easily. We know that God is love 1 John We know he sent his own Son to die on the cross for the sins of sinful people. Our world is decaying because of sin, and there is sickness, tragedy and sadness everywhere. But we are such finite beings. We see so little. So we must look to the cross. The facts of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the same now as they were when we first believed.

I suppose it is just another expression of that age-old sin of thinking our value comes from how other people see us. Or another friend, who cannot tell me a single positive thing about herself but who is often quite thoughtfully supportive of her friends and family. But that would suggest that our value comes from what we do, which is just as bad as thinking that our value comes from what other people think of us! Someone marrying you will not make you valuable. Doing things for other people will not make you valuable.

You cannot be made valuable, because you already are valuable. You are valuable because God Almighty himself tenderly created you—in his own image, no less! This is probably the lie that I wrestle with the most, mentally. I could just get used to my husband, and that would be it. It is true that marriage is a solution to some problems, some of the time.

Marriage can be an answer to loneliness. It might mean I can buy my own home. But this particular lie is one of those clever half-truths, where the truth makes it harder to see the lie. There is actually no guarantee that marriage will fix loneliness. Some married people are incredibly lonely, trapped in awful marriages with no-one to talk to about it. But we must not fall into the trap of thinking that marriage will fix all our problems. This is the dumbest idea in the history of dumb ideas.

Thank you so much, Hollywood, with all your stupid rom-coms, for helping Satan blind us with this lie. While it is true that God knows whether we will marry and whom we will marry, there is absolutely no way that we can know. All you can do is pray, make a wise decision, trust God, and then be faithful to your marriage promises. Look for someone who loves Jesus. Ask God for a husband, but also ask him to change your desires so that you will be open to the advances of a godly man, should they come. By the grace of God, both my parents are still alive and well, together with their respective spouses and a bunch of half- and step-siblings.

In my less trusting moments, I am afraid of getting old and lonely and having no-one to look after me. Chappo taught me to change the way I think about family. In a sermon he gave many years ago in his home church, he pointed out that our Christian family supersedes our biological family, just as it did for Jesus see Matt ; As children of God, we are part of a massive family. The challenge for all of us, in our individualistic culture, is to act like it.

Singleness can be a very painful and lonely experience. Perhaps you are toying with this idea yourself at the moment. I know many women married to unbelieving men. Some of these women did not become Christian until after they got married. Others were Christian and married a non-Christian. Others have watched their Christian husbands walk away from Jesus. But not one of them would recommend choosing to marry a non-Christian while you still have a choice to make. Not one. Not the women who still trust Jesus, anyway. My favourite Jane Eyre quote springs to mind here.

The man she loves is trying to persuade her to abandon her moral convictions and live with him, even though he already has a wife. She responds by saying:. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? For them, single life is just too hard and too lonely. To be perfectly frank, part of me wants to just shake them and tell them to look around—there are harder things than being single. My heart breaks for women whose husbands have died. Some families live daily with incredible heartache and struggle because of illness or disability or poverty or tragedy.

I think their struggles would be much harder than mine. I also want these women to see how much they do have. They have good jobs. They have plenty of clothes, money and food. They both have comfortable places to live—one has even managed to buy herself a unit. The grief of singleness is real and valid, and it comes from a very normal and healthy desire to be married. What we need is God, and the perspective that comes from reading his word. Do you know how many calls there are in the New Testament to persevere and endure? It may actually get even harder between now and when you meet him face to face.

This is why I think there are also so many descriptions in the New Testament of the amazing things God has given us in Christ. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.

It is not too hard to be single—even for life. You can keep going, because God has given you everything you need. Let us not dare to be dissatisfied with all that the God of the universe has lovingly given us. Let us trust God in all areas of life, including this one. Thank you for this post. No one can lose their salvation, that would make them stronger than God. Thanks for your helpful insights. Perhaps I do view the world through rose colored glasses; if so, I like wearing them, and hope I can continue to do so.

Spiritual The most important relationship in my life is between God and myself. Without Him I would not have a life to live, and without Him I would have no strength, no values, no soul. I want to be sure that all I do reflects God's word, and that my thoughts and actions reflect my Catholic Christian values. My faith goes before me in all that I do, and it gives a purpose to my life. I can only see this intensifying through the years. Family Family has is the next important relationship. My husband is my soul mate and partner in life, and I love him to the very depth of my heart.

We hope to soon have success in starting a family of our own, through birth or adoption, whatever is meant to be, and we anxiously await the day that we can love and nurture our children in person instead of just in our hearts. I have a strong relationship with all of my family and extended family, which I cherish and work to maintain. Family is important for growth and learning, and for understanding who you are. Family has been for me and will continue to be the cornerstone of my life, and I will do all that I can do to so that my life is a positive role model for our children and for my family.

My family will come before my career, even if I have to leave the workforce to do it. Part of my mission is to provide unconditional love and support for my family, and help them to grow spiritually, morally, mentally, and emotionally, into strong and happy adults. I am thankful for them, and place a high value on their friendship and presence in my life.

I consider them family and care deeply for them, and will continue to work at maintaining these friendships. Learning The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Though that is truly a cliche, it is one that I thoroughly believe in. I think the value of education is priceless, and plan to further my own as well as doing all I can to provide the best opportunities to my family.

We read often, and as a husband and wife, try to broaden our horizons through books and literature as opposed to mass mainstream entertainment. This is a value that we hope to instill in our children as well. Self Esteem and Security My self esteem is primarily determined by my conscience, and my level of satisfaction with myself and the decisions I make in life.

In my high school years, we moved around often, and after attending my 9th school by the time I reached the 10th grade, I had learned that it is foolish to base your self esteem on what others think of you. In my life, the buck stops here. I hold myself to high standards, and I hold myself fully accountable for my actions, successes, and failures. I learn from them, and I use my experiences to help me become who I want to be, as defined in my mission statement. In the end, my utmost level of accountability rests with God.

I am not to judge, but when I come to that point, I want to know that without a doubt, I did the best I could do in all that I did. I wouldn't have it any other way. Strength I derive my strength primarily from my faith, and from my relationship and daily conversations with God. This is how it has been for me since I was old enough to truly understand what it means to have a faith, and live your life with it.

I derive my strength from my family and friends, and from my conscience. I value criticism and use. My goal in life is to be a great friend and wife to my husband. A wonderful mother that teaches her children not just right and wrong, but how to be healthy, happy, successful, responsible adults who can do the same for their families. I want to not lose sight of who I am and the person I am meant to be in the process. All the while, honoring God with the choices I make and the way I live my life.

My guide is God. I truly believe that if you put God first in everything you do, He will direct your path. I pray. God has also placed in my life a husband and close friends with whom I can confide if I am struggling with a decision, looking for guidance, or just need encouragement. My husband : Being married for me is like running a marathon.

I should just quit! Then you remember why you started this race in the first place. You learn to pace yourself and just enjoy running. I married my husband so I can grow old with my best friend in the world. And sometimes we loudly remind each other of that. My children and I have wonderful relationships based on love, trust, respect, and honesty. Each time I dive into one area of my life too deeply, for example work, the effects show up visibly in the lives of my children. It is then that I am reminded of Mrs. Onassis's statement.

I see the need to pull back, re-evaluate what I am doing and get back on track. Raising my children well and maintaining good relationships with them is, to me, the most valuable thing that I can accomplish in this lifetime. From the spirited Irish Republicans to the Italians who solve everything with wine and pasta, each have their own opinions, tastes, and humor.

Generally, I just try to be blend in, go-with-the flow when it comes to the in-laws. As for my parents and my brother I make a point to stay close to them and be supportive. They are a big part of my connection to who I am and where I came from, that is something I do not want to forget. Friends : Friends: I have a few.

They are the people that God blessed you with to lift you up when no one else can. They are the people that cry with you when something bad happens. They are the people that listen when you really need to talk. Friends understand when you answer the door in your pajamas and your house is a mess. Because they know you would do that for them. Those are my friends. Employee within the Firm : I have been both an employee and a manager.

As an employee I first have had to recognize my learning style. I am a person who is very detail oriented. I need to understand things a little more in depth than most people. I am not afraid to work hard and learn something new. No matter what the job is, I always try to do the best I can. As a manager, I felt it was important to have clear expectations of employees, to give them adequate feedback and training so they can do their job well.

Learning is a never-ending process. To be successful in business, education and experience are the best combination. An MBA will help me to build on what I already know about business. In the future I want to pursue my Ph. My life had some rough beginnings. I remember moments when my life came close to ending. Some of those moments were at the hands of another. There were very dark confusing years that followed. All the people who thought they saw a spark of hope in me.

All of those who said I couldn't make it.

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My self-esteem comes from knowing that I not only beat the odds, I knocked them out of the ballpark. I made all of those people who reached out to me proud; and surprised those who thought I couldn't. My family is my security. They remind me that life is good and no matter what challenges come my way, the sun will still shine in the morning and they will still be there to help me through. My strength is in my faith. I know God and He knows what I can handle. I do not always feel up to the things He puts in my life, but with prayer and time, I am able to meet these challenges head-on.

Mission Statement A. Overall Statement of My Life's Mission My overall mission is to reach a position in my career, whether working for myself or someone else, in which I can make a lot of money without working excessive hours, so that I am able to provide a nice home, a warm environment, and an excellent education for my wife and kids and so that we can afford to travel, have fun, and enjoy life without worrying about money.

My Guide I am guided by my own set of morals and principles that I have developed through relationships with my parents, my family, friends, peers, from people I respect and admire, and through continuous learning and contemplation. Important Relationships 1. I want to have a relationship with my wife in which we love and respect each other, have fun together, and support each other in whatever comes our way.

I want to be a father that my kids can look up to and come to for safety and security whenever and wherever they need something. My family members know that they can rely on me for help whenever they need it. With my friends, I strive to be a good, loyal friend, provide help to them when needed, and I want to be someone they know they can have fun with.

In my job, I want to be a leader, who people respect and admire for my ability to get the job done right, as someone who treats employees well, and as someone they can come to for advice and answers. Learning I believe in the statement "Knowledge is Power" and I have continually pursued different forms of further education work related and non-work related and working towards an MBA is another step in my continuous pursuit of knowledge. Self-Esteem My self-esteem comes from knowing that overall I am a decent person and that I am very good at what I do.

I believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and I don't let other peoples' opinions bother me. Strength My strength comes from a strong feeling within that whatever happens, I will survive, and no matter how many times I am beat down I know that through determination and persistence, I will eventually succeed at whatever I am dedicated to.

My mission in life is to glorify God and to do God's will. The roles that I fill in my life are roles that God has provided for me and I need to conduct myself, as God would want me to. I have responsibility to lead my family in a Godly way, to show people in my life a Christian life style and understanding, and in the community what God would want from everyone's life.

I am guided in my mission by God's will. I know what God would want from me as I spend time in prayer and ask for his guidance in all things that I do. The times that I feel lost in my life are the times that I do not spend the appropriate time in prayer or allow for my desires of worldly positions to overtake my actions. The thing that I will not allow to guide my decision making is the pursuit of worldly desires.

The point that I allow these worldly desires to provide me guidance is the point that I stray from what God would want from me. Wife - I desire from my relationship with my wife to laugh every day, to love and respect each other, and to work on our relationship every day of our lives.

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My goal is to work towards a life long partnership that changes and evolves as our lives evolve. Children - being a father to 3 beautiful children is a challenging and fulfilling role, I desire to be a role model, a teacher and leader in their spiritual development, a good provider, a life long partner in their lives. I desire for my children to respect, honor, love, and truly desire my kids to want to be part of our family.

I desire for our kids to be tied together through their entire lives and want to carry on our family's values and traditions after my wife and I move to a final destination of heaven. My relationship with my brother needs to continue to evolve to the point we can be active participants in each others lives.

Friends as a group - my relationship with my friends needs to take on a life of its own, early in my life my friends where very important to me but as time as continued I have grown away due to my career, family, and educational commitments. I desire to rediscover those relationships along with growing new ones.

I would like to make time to have meaningful relationships with people outside of my current inner circle. Business partner -getting ready to begin my new business with a friend and colleague I want to build a relationship of mutual trust, respect, and life long partnership that does not lose the friendship element of what we have today. Formal - I want to complete my MBA and potentially continue with my learning in some aspect. At some point in my life I would like to take the knowledge of business that I have learned and teach at some level.

Spiritual - I desire to continue to build my relationship with God and learn how to be the Christian that he would have for me to be. This area of learning has been one that I have put off at times, that I have not been as committed to as I should be, and needing to fulfill.

I maintain my self-esteem and confidence from several sources. My primary source is my relationship with God; spiritually I am confident that eternity is the ultimate goal and that by my relationship and trusting Jesus Christ as my savior. My second source of strength comes from my upbringing. My parents taught me to be confident in myself, to trust that I will make the best decisions, and to respect all people regardless of who they are and where they come from. My mom particularly taught me that I own my own self worth and self esteem.

Life and work

You cannot be strong within relationships with others if you are not strong and happy with yourself. I feel that the times that I struggle with these things are the times that I lose confidence in myself or stray to far from God. When I recognize the symptoms, then I spend time praying and reading God's word. When I feel I am not happy, I push myself back to learning either mentally or physically through the workout routines.

My strength comes from my relationship with God. Strength for me is a function of prayer and my relationship with God. My wife provides a source of strength through love, understanding, and encouragement. These two sources of strength in my life provide guidance and direction as I live day to day. My life's mission is to come upon my undiscovered talents that best bring about perfection in the material and spiritual worlds, as well as be a giving and loving man in my important relationships and those that may extend beyond my immediate circle. I only try to dance better than myself.

I believe that where I am right now is the right place for me to be; this does not suggest I take a passive role in my life. Partner: The relationship shall be of mutual respect and where I can differentiate between that which is satisfactory significant other and that which is perfect significant other, if improved. Louis any way that I can but wish that I were physically closer to celebrate their birthdays and every holiday with them. Parents: I love my parents. I always welcome their unconditional love and advice.

I shall continue to work toward transitioning our parent-child relationships into adult-adult relationships. Siblings: I could afford to strengthen my relationships with my two step-sisters on my father's side and adopted brother my late mother adopted him when we were adults. Presently, my knowledge of the events in each of their respective lives remains at a high-level. Friends: My friends are an extension of my family. I love to converse and explore new ideas with friends, will always offer to bring them chicken soup if they are sick, and work harder to not be heavy-handed with advice.

Employer: I will use the power of communication, industriousness, and efficiency to get my work done and rise to any challenge, hopefully whilst ensuring that my goals and values are aligned with the mission, vision, and values of my employer. I would like to resume my volunteering efforts upon graduation from Carlson. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. I consider myself a work in progress and a love of learning assists in my quest for self-improvement. By keeping an open mind and appreciating thoughtful academic research, well scripted television banter, provocative articles, friendly social networking sites, books of interest, and smart and funny conversations during hours of happiness, I hope to have a more tolerant, imaginative, and positive approach to my personal, social, and professional lives.

There is something that you can do better than any other. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. There are many ups and downs in life but as the above quote says, there is something that I can do better than anyone else. Now it is just a matter of inducing this competency and sustaining it. I derive my worth from the quality of my relationships, the material and spiritual things in my life, and knowing that I have faith — all of which are measurable with a smile. I try my hardest not to compare myself to others since we are different persons with different experiences; but that is not always the case, therefore, I seek to turn insecurities in opportunities or discard them as irrelevant.

Two primary sources from where I draw strength to achieve my life's mission are the interactions with and feedback provided by family, friends, and colleagues, and the ideas that challenge my existing way of thinking. Also, by being versatile in my communications with others and sympathetic to my surroundings, I can learn to be less demanding of myself and others — decreasing the disappointment when my demands aren't met and reducing the potential for pessimism.

I am here on a mission a mission from God. Ok, before someone calls the guys in the white coats, let me explain. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. God's goal is to have the entire world know Him. I hope to accomplish this through my words and through my actions. To this purpose God has given me many resources; a good job that pays well, a good education, the chance to travel, family, friends and much more.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. As I go about my mission I want to be someone others see as a person who not only speaks the truth about God but who demonstrates it. And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Ultimately I will know how successful I have been in reaching my goal when I am reunited with all my loved ones in heaven. Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

My guide through this journey of life is God. I receive direction from him through his Word, the sacraments and prayer. In the sacraments of baptism and communion that I receive at church, I am united with God and my weaknesses or sins are forgiven. Through prayer I can have conversations with God. The following are the groups with whom I have relationships.

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  • There is an order of importance in this list, as Gayle Sayers said: "The Lord is first, my friends [and family] are second, and I am third. T here are other relationships in my life but these three come first. I realize that nothing I have done merits the love God has for me. This is most certainly true! Live as children of light. God wants my relationship with him to be personal.

    He wants me to talk with him and he with me. Lastly, God has put me here for a specific purpose. I must trust him in all things and constantly seek His guidance in my life. God provided me with loving parents and grandparents who helped me at an early age to understand God's love for me. They not only taught me about God and his promises but their lives provided a living example for me that formed the basis of my faith today.

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    • I want to be that kind of person for my sister and brother and their families, especially for my nieces and nephews. I want them to see those same attributes of faith, hope and love that existed in my parents and grandparents. I have a close relationship with my mother, brother and sister and their families. Our love is unconditional; it cannot be separated by the enticement of money. We do not keep tabs of who owes whom nor how much Mom has given one person over another. They know that they can depend on me for anything they need: physically, emotionally and financially, and I know I can depend on them.

      Since I don't live close to my family, my friends are an important part of my life. I have both Christian and non-Christian friends, both locally and throughout the world. My Christian friends provide me with support and encouragement, serving as role models on how to be effective in my mission. My friends and family have my unconditional love. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

      If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. Lastly I believe that a part of being a friend is to be an encourager as well as wanting only good things for them. As a single person, I am accountability to myself. You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. Lastly, unlike many people I am not afraid to die nor am I afraid to live. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.

      Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.

      It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Instead I believe in helping out my neighbors by taking care of their walks, loaning out my possessions such as my fertilizer spreader, my snowblower, my lawnmower and other equipment.

      I let my actions demonstrate my faith and whenever possible tell of this faith to my neighbors. My church is an important part of my life, as I am a part of a church family. I also provide support for church by giving my time to teach Bible Class or to sing in the church choir and by giving my resources, such as my money and my possessions to the church.

      Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe God is asking me to share my riches with people in need, not only my riches but also my time. Practice hospitality. Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.

      They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. We are living in times of stress.

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      However, God is calling us to choose love instead of hate. I want to live at peace with all people and take every opportunity to pray for not only my friends and family but for the entire world. How vast is the sum of them! Of course I will continue my learning through the completion of my Masters Program as well as by reading the paper, watching television news, the history channel and other educational shows. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

      And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. My strength comes from my faith in God. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Fourth, I know that nothing I do can separate me from God.

      That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. I believe my goal for my life is best expressed by a Cal Ripken Jr.

      Cal wanted to play the game of baseball in such a way that the game would be better because of him. It would be better because of the example he provided other ball players. It would be better because of how fans saw him. It would be better because of the other players he was able to mentor throughout his career. Along with this goal, Cal had another goal. He didn't want to do anything to jeopardize the game. If he messed up, he wanted to contain his error so as few people as possible would be affected. This is the same way I want to live my life. I want the world to be a better place because of my actions, and because of the impact I have on other people.

      Also, on my bad days, where it seems I can't do anything right, I hope I don't mess things up too badly. A simple illustration of this point is that I do not drive when I've been drinking. But, moving back to the larger meaning, I envision myself improving the world thru my relationship with my wife, with my daughters and with my family. I also want to lead by example. I feel a good attitude, whether it is at sports or in the office, is a valuable mentoring device. With that said, I will take the opportunity to act as an example and teach anyone I meet.

      I've taught youth league basketball. I've volunteered on numerous organizations and committees. I try to foster good relationship with my friends. Overall, I try to lead a good life. What guides me? I am a rule deontologist. I have a set of rules that I refer to for any decision I make. I find that regardless of how simple the decision, I refer to these rules. I've found this to be a subconscious act. I wasn't even aware I did this until I began analyzing myself as part of this course.

      I'm constantly review my decisions against my rule set. This is my interpretation of Divine Command. To me, this doesn't mean follow the rules of the Church, or follow the Ten Commandments. It means that I should try to make decisions similar to those Jesus made. This is an impossible rule to consistently follow, but should be the basis for all my decisions. In other words, for me this rule by itself has consistency and feasibility issues. The remaining rules are needed to fill the gap between this ideal behavior and what's actually realistic.

      If I can't accomplish rule number 1 and I do end up participate in unethical behavior, I hope that I don't commit any act so repulsive as to loose respect for myself. While this doesn't provide strict guidelines to follow, its generalizability makes it powerful. I often refer to this rule as the litmus test or tie-breaker concerning difficult decisions.

      Those without sin can cast the first stone. Don't judge yet thee be judged thyself. Walk a mile in their shoes. All these sayings summarize my 3 rd rule. I try not to judge other peoples behavior and thoughts. I feel that you can never truly know why someone acted as they did, and there is no way to know if you would act differently if you were in the same situation. As a result, don't judge others, because if you judge them you'll act differently and usually less favorably toward them.

      Cal Ripken Jr. I feel the same way about life. I want to act in a way that improves society, either by example or action, so the world is a better place after I leave. This is another broad rule that is directly related to rule 6, and supercedes rule 6. I feel there are certain demographics that should be protected and sheltered from the evils of society. I frequently equate this rule to children and the disabled.

      But I do expand this rule as the situation dictates. For example, if a decision is being made to fire an individual, and that person isn't involved in the discussion, I try to act in a way that provides respect and shelter for that individual. I also apply this rule to justify minimum wage, workplace diversity, and other questionable societal issues. Freedom of choice is critical, even if that freedom could allow others to hurt you or your loved ones.

      I think freedom is imperative to society. We need to give people the freedom to act however they like. In some cases, we need to give people the freedom to make tough decisions, knowing that people could disobey these decisions and hurt themselves or society. While this is a risk, taking away that freedom has a greater loss than living with the possibility of tragedy.

      I use this rule to justify the existence of companies, products and social causes that I do not agree with. I would rather these products exist than live in a repressive society. With that said, I think there are certain groups that need to be protected, so laws are required to protect those groups. Laws are required to limit freedom in certain cases.

      I learned this in college, and it basically went against family values I was taught. I had the option of hiring a lawyer to help me reduce a sentence for a verdict I was guilty of committing. I couldn't see the reasoning behind this. Instead I investigated other avenues and found a rehabilitation program for first-time offenders. This was a culmination of many events that resulted in me adding this rule to the list. I believe taking responsibility for your actions and failures is essential to development. Trying to get out of trouble usually results in getting into more trouble.

      It's best to stop the cycle, admit you are wrong and accept responsibility for whatever punishment will follow. This is another simple rule that I use frequently. When truly used, it grows to encompass not only words, but behavior. In fact, it personally has iterated to have nearly the same meaning as treat others the way you'd like to be treated. But for me, the foundation is not to talk or act questionably bad behind someone's back. I find myself in many situations where I feel pressure or am inclined to break this rule. For this reason, this rule is in my top ten.

      I interpret this as the decision that seems the best on the surface is usually the best decision. Digging into all possible circumstances and consequences is often wasted effort. I've found that if you make a decision based on good intentions see rule 10 for possible conflicts things will usually work out for the best. If, unfortunately, unimaginable consequences occur, be flexible to adjust your decision and rational to include this new information.

      In other words, learn from your mistakes. I find that I often trick myself into questionable behavior. I often don't question the entire situation, because I'm happy being ignorant of all the implications. This rule could also be stated, it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Meaning, people are apt to forgive bad decisions if you claim you didn't know what you did was wrong. Regardless of whether you trick yourself or another person does, you should adjust your list of rules as needed.

      Add, modify, reorganize rules as needed to continue personal growth and help prevent unwanted behavior. I adjust these rules often. I change their sequence. In fact, the president insisted that in dealings with the Latin American nations, he did not seek national glory or expansion of territory and believed that war or intervention should be a last resort when resolving conflicts with problematic governments. He also believed that the American sphere included not only Hawaii and the Caribbean but also much of the Pacific.

      When Japanese victories over Russia threatened the regional balance of power, he sponsored peace talks between Russian and Japanese leaders, earning him a Nobel Peace Prize in Debates over American imperialism revolved around more than just politics and economics and national self-interest. In the fall of , Margaret McLeod, age twenty-one, originally of Boston, found herself in Australia on family business and in need of income.

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      Fortuitously, she made the acquaintance of Alexander MacWillie, the top salesman for the H. McLeod proved to be such an attractive purveyor of India relish and baked beans that she accompanied MacWillie on the rest of his tour of Australia and continued on to South Africa, India, and Japan. Heinz saw itself not only as purveying economical and healthful foodstuffs—it was bringing the blessings of civilization to the world. But in fact, U. In addition to working as representatives of American business, women could serve as missionaries, teachers, and medical professionals, and as artists and writers they were inspired by and helped transmit ideas about imperialism.

      Moreover, the rhetoric of civilization that underlay imperialism was itself a highly gendered concept. According to the racial theory of the day, humans progressed through hierarchical stages of civilization in an orderly, linear fashion. Only Europeans and Americans had attained the highest level of civilization, which was superficially marked by whiteness but also included an industrial economy and a gender division in which men and women had diverging but complementary roles. Social and technological progress had freed women of the burdens of physical labor and elevated them to a position of moral and spiritual authority.

      White women thus potentially had important roles to play in U. Civilization, while often cloaked in the language of morality and Christianity, was very much an economic concept. Over the course of the nineteenth century, women in the West, for instance, had become closely associated with consumption, particularly of those commodities used in the domestic sphere.

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      By adopting the use of such progressive products in their homes, consumers could potentially absorb even the virtues of American civilization. Many white women felt that they had a duty to spread the benefits of Christian civilization to those less fortunate than themselves. No longer only responsible for shaping the next generation of American citizens, white women now had a crucial role to play in the maintenance of civilization itself.

      They too would help determine whether civilization would continue to progress. Of course, not all women were active supporters of U. Many actively opposed it. Although the most prominent public voices against imperialism were male, women made up a large proportion of the membership of organizations like the Anti-Imperialist League. For white women like Jane Addams and Josephine Shaw Lowell, anti-imperialist activism was an outgrowth of their work in opposition to violence and in support of democracy.

      Black female activists, meanwhile, generally viewed imperialism as a form of racial antagonism and drew parallels between the treatments of African Americans at home and, for example, Filipinos abroad. Indeed, Ida B. Wells viewed her anti-lynching campaign as a kind of anti-imperialist activism. For Americans at the turn of the century, imperialism and immigration were two sides of the same coin. The involvement of American women with imperialist and anti-imperialist activity demonstrates how foreign policy concerns were brought home and became, in a sense, domesticated.

      It is also no coincidence that many of the women involved in both imperialist and anti-imperialist organizations were also concerned with the plight of new arrivals to the United States. Industrialization, imperialism, and immigration were all linked. Imperialism had at its core a desire for markets for American goods, and those goods were increasingly manufactured by immigrant labor. Between and , over twenty-five million immigrants arrived in the United States.

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      This migration was largely a continuation of a process begun before the Civil War, though by the turn of the twentieth century, new groups such as Italians, Poles, and Eastern European Jews made up a larger percentage of the arrivals while Irish and German numbers began to dwindle. Although the growing U. Nativists opposed mass immigration for various reasons. Some felt that the new arrivals were unfit for American democracy, and that Irish or Italian immigrants used violence or bribery to corrupt municipal governments.

      Others often earlier immigrants themselves worried that the arrival of even more immigrants would result in fewer jobs and lower wages. Such fears combined and resulted in anti-Chinese protests on the West Coast in the s. Still others worried that immigrants brought with them radical ideas such as socialism and communism.

      These fears multiplied after the Chicago Haymarket affair in , in which immigrants were accused of killing police officers in a bomb blast. Nativist sentiment intensified in the late nineteenth century as immigrants streamed into American cities. In September , Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, a member of the Massachusetts Board of State Charities, gave an address in support of the introduction of regulatory federal immigration legislation at an interstate conference of charity officials in Saratoga, New York.

      From the s to the s, the federal government passed a series of laws limiting or discontinuing the immigration of particular groups, and the United States remained committed to regulating the kind of immigrants who would join American society. To critics, regulations legitimized racism, class bias, and ethnic prejudice as formal national policy.

      The first move for federal immigration control came from California, where racial hostility toward Chinese immigrants had mounted since the midnineteenth century. In addition to accusing Chinese immigrants of racial inferiority and unfitness for American citizenship, opponents claimed that they were also economically and morally corrupting American society with cheap labor and immoral practices, such as prostitution. Then, in May , Congress suspended the immigration of all Chinese laborers with the Chinese Exclusion Act, making the Chinese the first immigrant group subject to admission restrictions on the basis of race.

      They became the first illegal immigrants. On the other side of the country, Atlantic Seaboard states also facilitated the formation of federal immigration policy. Since the colonial period, East Coast states had regulated immigration through their own passenger laws, which prohibited the landing of destitute foreigners unless shipmasters prepaid certain amounts of money in the support of those passengers.

      State-level control of pauper immigration developed into federal policy in the early s. In August , Congress passed the Immigration Act, denying admission to people who were not able to support themselves and those, such as paupers, people with mental illnesses, or convicted criminals, who might otherwise threaten the security of the nation. The category of excludable people expanded continuously after Six years later, the federal government included people who seemed likely to become wards of the state, people with contagious diseases, and polygamists, and made all groups of excludable people deportable.

      In , those who would pose ideological threats to American republican democracy, such as anarchists and socialists, also became the subject of new immigration restrictions. Many immigration critics were responding to the shifting demographics of American immigration. The center of immigrant-sending regions shifted from northern and western Europe to southern and eastern Europe and Asia.

      White Protestant Americans typically regarded them as inferior, and American immigration policy began to reflect more explicit prejudice than ever before. In its forty-two-volume report of , the U. Immigration Commission highlighted the impossibility of incorporating these new immigrants into American society. The report highlighted their supposed innate inferiority, asserting that they were the causes of rising social problems in America, such as poverty, crime, prostitution, and political radicalism.

      By , Catholicism in the United States had grown dramatically in size and diversity, from 1 percent of the population a century earlier to the largest religious denomination in America though still outnumbered by Protestants as a whole. As a result, Catholics in America faced two intertwined challenges: one external, related to Protestant anti-Catholicism, and the other internal, having to do with the challenges of assimilation. Torrents of anti-Catholic literature and scandalous rumors maligned Catholics. Many Protestants doubted whether Catholics could ever make loyal Americans because they supposedly owed primary allegiance to the pope.

      Internally, Catholics in America faced the question every immigrant group has had to answer: to what extent should they become more like native-born Americans? This question was particularly acute, as Catholics encompassed a variety of languages and customs. Beginning in the s, Catholic immigration to the United States had exploded with the increasing arrival of Irish and German immigrants.

      Subsequent Catholic arrivals from Italy, Poland, and other Eastern European countries chafed at Irish dominance over the Church hierarchy. Mexican and Mexican American Catholics, whether recent immigrants or incorporated into the nation after the Mexican-American War, expressed similar frustrations. Could all these different Catholics remain part of the same Church? Catholic clergy approached this situation from a variety of perspectives. Some bishops advocated rapid assimilation into the English-speaking mainstream. They anticipated that the Catholic Church could thrive in a nation that espoused religious freedom, if only they assimilated.

      Meanwhile, however, more conservative clergy cautioned against assimilation. While they conceded that the United States had no official religion, they felt that Protestant notions of the separation of church and state and of licentious individual liberty posed a threat to the Catholic faith. They further saw ethnic parishes as an effective strategy protecting immigrant communities and worried that Protestants would use public schools to attack the Catholic faith.

      In , he sent a special letter an encyclical to an archbishop in the United States. Leo reminded the Americanists that the Catholic Church was a unified global body and that American liberties did not give Catholics the freedom to alter church teachings. The Americanists denied any such intention, but the conservative clergy claimed that the pope had sided with them.

      Tension between Catholicism and American life, however, would continue well into the twentieth century. While American imperialism flared most brightly for a relatively brief time at the turn of the century, new imperial patterns repeated old practices and lived on into the twentieth century. But suddenly the United States had embraced its cultural, economic, and religious influence in the world, along with a newfound military power, to exercise varying degrees of control over nations and peoples.