This goal can actually be broken down into two separate goals.
Goal 12-sub-A: Align myself with people.
Goal 12-sub-B: Make sure that people I am aligned with are good for me.
How long will it take to achieve 12-sub-A?
In order to answer this question, I must be sure to accurately define ‘align’.
a·lign (ə-līn’) v.tr.:
To arrange in a line or so as to be parallel: align the tops of a row of pictures; aligned the car with the curb.
To adjust (parts of a mechanism, for example) to produce a proper relationship or orientation: aligning the wheels of a truck.
To ally (oneself, for example) with one side of an argument or cause: aligned themselves with the free traders.
To adhere to a prescribed course of action.
To move or be adjusted into proper relationship or orientation.
[French aligner, from Old French : a-, to (from Latin ad-; see ad–) + ligne, line (from Latin līnea; see line1).]
I believe the definition that is most useful in this context is: ‘to adjust to produce a proper relationship or orientation’. But what is a proper relationship between myself and people? For the answer, we must turn to the cardinal rule of my religion – treat others the way you would like to be treated.
How does the way in which I treat other people differ from how I would like to be treated? This is going to require some lengthy and attentive observation, paired with introspection. How lengthy? Well, as of the writing of this entry, I’m going to give myself one month in which to analyze this. In fact, I’m going to add this to my goals list.
Once I’ve discovered how the way in which I treat other people differs from how I would like to be treated, I will need to systematically treat people differently than I have been treating them. To use an analogy favored by someone whose opinion I highly respect, this will feel like brushing my teeth with my left hand (I am right-handed). But it can be done. It could take a lifetime… but I’ll give myself a year and a day.
Once I am treating people the way I would like to be treated, I will have aligned myself with them. So, my timeframe for goal 12-sub-A is one year, one month, and one day.
How long will it take to achieve 12-sub-B?
In order to answer this question, I must be sure to accurately define ‘good’. The full set of dictionary definitions for this word is too long for it to be desirable to reproduce here; I will simply select the one I think most appropriate – beneficial to health: salutary.
I believe that a person’s health is composed of four elements: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. In order to determine whether a person is good for these elements of my health, I must first know what is good for these elements. This will take some research, but it probably need not be too lengthy. I can probably get this done within a week or so; it’s not worth listing as a Goal.
The final step will be to ensure that people around me treat me in ways that are good for me. Some will do this by choice, but with others, I will need to be assertive, and refuse to accept treatment that is detrimental to my health. I don’t think this is a goal that can ever be achieved in a permanent way; it is rather a choice that must be repeated, systematically, throughout my life. Hmm. Maybe I should find a way to rephrase this goal so that it is more concrete and measurable. Then I could give a better timeframe for it. 8 years ago