SIMPLE RULES TO LIVE BY:
1. If you "come at me" and I use less-than-lethal force, like say pepper spray, just enjoy the 15 pain-ride, don't act tough, and say "thank you" to me when it's over... I have just taught you an important life lesson in humility.
2. I always tip service personnel generously... At least 20%... Even if they are having a bad day. Everyone has a bad day... Don't be so pompous and think they will be perfect every time. Mistakes happen. Pay it forward.
3. Instead of saying to yourself "I want / I need" .... Chances are if you are reading this, you don't "need" anything. Find a random stranger, or perhaps someone you know who truly does need something, like clothes or food... Give them a gift card for $25 or $50.... Watch them smile. It's priceless... Better than any piece of garbage you could buy yourself.
4. Treat puppies, kittens, dogs and cats humanely. They have done nothing wrong to you. All they want is a safe home and in return offer unconditional love. Try finding that quality in a human... You can't.
5. Our elderly are too often taken advantage of. Or neglected. If the good Lord is kind to you, you may one day be elderly or infirm. Remember that Karma has a wicked way of returning. Don't be THAT person.
6. Cherish every moment, good and bad, with your kids / spouse. No one is guaranteed a "tomorrow." Love them with all you have EVERY DAY.
7. DO NOT LIE. EVER. The truth wins every time. Always. A foundation built upon lies is always weak, and always always always comes crashing down at some point. You can not cheat your way around this fact. No one has ever been successful at living a life of lies. Start living a truthful life today. It's never too late to correct lies.
8. Always remember that no matter how bad things may seem, there is someone out there with bigger / worse problems than you. Take a long hard look at WHY you may be in a bad situation and then take a week to develop a plan on how to fix it in BABY STEPS. There is NEVER any shame in seeking professional help. In fact, for some, it may be the only way to stop making bad decisions and may be the smartest thing they can do for themselves.
9. We only have ONE planet Earth. Treat her as kindly as possible and make your own small contribution to cut back on unnecessary waste.
10. Find just one person, and make it a point to laugh with them at least once a day. You will be amazed how much it will lift BOTH of your souls.
11. Always be sure to say "please," "thank you," "excuse me," and "I'm sorry." Politeness and respect towards others goes a very long way and is contagious. No one is exempt from this basic rule.
12. If you are a man like I am, always treat women with respect. Open doors for them. Offer to help. Offer to listen. And don't ever hit them, ever. Compliment a woman every day no matter how small...
13. You are part of society. Don't expect a "free-ride" as no one owes you anything. Contribute in any way you possibly can to make the world a better place. Even a small contribution helps. It is better than sitting back and expecting goods & services to simply be handed to you.
14. Volunteer. Everyone has some extra free time. Volunteer (even small chunks of time) to help others. If you physically can't, donate to a charity. Or write a letter to a Congressperson on something you believe needs fixing. Life is a "participation event." Be involved somehow.
These are just a few things I will be doing starting today.... Pick a few to start with, and see how much better you and those that benefit from your positive actions start to feel. Have a great Holiday Season. -S.A.