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More Warm Fuzzies

"I have tried so hard to become what I ought to be that I forgot what I am".

The following is from another poster I uncovered yesterday in my basement treasure hunt. It's one I used to have the wall in my office when I was teaching. More than 1 student would come in to read it when they were feeling particularly stressed. It's called:

"Life's Little Instructions".

Sing in the shower.
Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated.
Watch a sunrise at least once a year.
Leave the toilet seat in the down position.
Never refuse homemade brownies.

Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Plant a tree for your birthday.
Learn three clean jokes.
Return borrowed vehicles with the gas tank full.
Compliment three people every day.
Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
Leave everything a little better than you found it.
Keep it simple.
Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Floss your teeth.
Ask for a raise when you feel you've earned it.
Be forgiving of yourself and others.
Overtip breakfast waitresses.
Say "thank you" a lot.
Say "please" a lot.
Avoid negative people.
Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.
Wear polished shoes.
Remember other people's birthdays.
Commit yourself to constant improvement.
Carry jumper cables in your trunk.

Have a firm handshake.
Send lots of Valentines. Sign them, "Someone who thinks you're terrific."
Look people in the eye.
Be the first to say, "Hello".
Use the good silver.
Return all things you borrow.
Make new friends but cherish the old ones.
Keep secrets.
Sing in a choir.
Plant flowers every spring.

Have a dog.
Always accept an outstretched hand.
Stop blaming others. Take responsiblity for every area of your life.
Wave at kids on school buses.
Be there when people need you.
Feed a stranger's expired parking meter.
Don't expect life to be fair.
Never underestimate the power of love.
Drink champagne for no reason at all.
Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation.
Don't be afraid to say, "I made a mistake."
Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know."
Compliment even small improvements.
Keep your promises (no matter what).
Marry only for love.
Rekindle old friendships.
Count your blessings.
Call your mother.

Because this is such a warm, fuzzy, Mom's apple pie blog today, I thought I'd make the PEACE link a little more unconventional. It's a comparison of thinking between John Locke, a social theorist, who claims that order comes from observation, and disorder comes from re-tracing observations incorrectly; and Thomas Hobbes, who was also a social theorist but a moral philosopher with widely dissenting views from most others, claiming that we are willing to accept order from anyone capable of imposing it, since without order, we would revert to self-interest almost immediately. It's okay to think differently, I guess!

In either case, Peace!

I do very few of the things on your list. Though I do floss my teeth. The only problem is--six months later, you have to do it again. Maybe my failure to do these things explains why at age 52 I'm a lonely, frustrated, old man with no friends (and rotting teeth.)

"Compliment 3 people per day."
That is my new resolution. Starting tomorrow, I am going to do that.
Thanks for such an uplifting post!

The thing about that list is, you can't ARGUE with any of it, but it still bugs me. I've tried to understand why for years.

I think I know what it is now though: it's that you can do all that, and your life will be a little bit easier and nicer, and nothing else in the world will change.

Don't mind me, I'm just simmering with resentment because I finally saw Forrest Gump the other day.

I'm not denying that Norman Rockwell's America may have existed; I'm just tired of being told it's the only place in the world worth living.

Gary, maybe you just picked the wrong one from the list! I think I'll give flossing a try, now that you mention it....I already do the toilet seat thing, so I'm ok there!

Mackey, that's a good one to do but you're going to have to make a point of running into at least three people every day now, though, and they'll get suspicious after awhile if it's the same three every day!{grin}.

Dave, for someone who's spent the last two months convincing me to get it together within myself first (a lesson I'm finally starting to try and listen to, BTW), your pessism surprises me (and bugs me). We both know N. Ontario is sweeter than any Rockwell painting.....and about the list (and I grant there are lots like this), the thing is there's only one message...just dozens of ways of doing it. It's like teaching the same lesson 20 different ways to 20 different learning styles (sorry, it's the teacher in me still trying to get out!). Hope things are Ok...

I'm not being pessimistic, I'm being honest. I'm a happy person despite consistently trying to maintain a clear view of the facts, which is no insignificant task.

I think that taken together, the statements on that poster (ranging from sweet and thoughtful to wildly whimsical to plainly inequivalent to grossly inaccurate) amount to a declaration of the status quo, just stated rather positively. Just like Forrest Gump (remember, he's the reason I'm simmering.)

They're the equivalent of new age books that tell you you can be whatever you can imagine...which is fine, except those books don't sell in Darfur because it's not true in Darfur. It's true in North American middle class neighbourhoods, just like it's true in North American middle class neighbourhoods that you should have a dog and call your mother.

(It isn't verifiably true ANYWHERE that you should marry for love, by the way. It guaranties the success of neither love, nor the marriage).

It's not that these things are bad! It's that stating these things as if they were equivalent is silly, and more importantly... these are window-dressing on the facts of life.

If it bums you out I'll quit with the comments.

It's not your commenting that bums me out...ever..., you know I like dialogue, I like to learn from dialogue,.....I think we're both pretty much saying the same thing. I was sensing, perhaps incorrectly, that you're p.o.'d about the unfairness of the world, and sometimes feel too personally responsible. It's not your fault, and I think it's ok to be thankful for being lucky to be born here....in fact, I remember clearly giving a speech in a public-speaking contest in Grade 7 that started out, "I'm lucky to be born in Canada. Being born here was just an accident, though....I could have been born in Russia..." (it was 1960, the peak of the cold war). As an aside, I also remember very clearly that my Mom (for the benefit of anyone who doesn't know me, she was a very straight-laced lady) did not appreciate the audience's titters when I said it was "just an accident"!! I won the contest at the school level, and she had me change that line when I advanced to the city competition. That's why I remember it so clearly!

It's cold, harsh, brutal and insensitive, but I've given up watching the news for almost three weeks now because it was distressing me so much...so I think I understand what you're saying, and if I do, I agree. That's one reason why you don't see as much Bush-bashing, and political rants in my blog entries anymore. Personally, I feel less stressed, so I find myself asking "is ignorance bliss, am I being an insensitive crud to not care anymore?"

"....change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference" I guess is where my attitudes and focus is at this moment. I know that it'll change at some point, it always does. It's the cycle of life.

As far as your comment about love and marriage, I was just copying words from the poster. I certainly wasn't speaking from authority, as I've experienced neither in my life.

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  • I'm Evydense
  • From Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • And I'm tired of living in the shadow of narrow-mindedness and ignorance. So here's the fax, Jack! "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and three hundred and sixty-two admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision." - Lynne Lavner*** I'm confused; curious; satisfied; realistically resigned to being a frustrated idealist; usually at peace with myself, but not always. Amazed at how little I know, and wondering how much I need to understand.
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