Sunday, September 19, 2010

Successful Living

The preacher at the church where I visited this morning said some things of value that I want to remember. 

He told about a coach (name escaped me) who gave his son these guidelines for a successful life. Here are his thoughts and my comments:

1.  Be true to yourself.

This thought echoes the scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet  when Polonius gives his son Laertes a few words of advice as Laertes leaves to study at the university in Wittenberg: “This above all—to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”  (Thanks to Quote DB for reminding me of the exact words.)

In other, more modern words, if you will always be true to yourself, you can never be untrue to anyone else.

2.  Help others.

If you think about it, it usually takes no more than a few minutes to help people. I remember the TV commercial in which a small act of kindness triggers a chain of helping. Each person who gets unexpected aid from a stranger then helps someone else. I have no idea what the commercial’s featured product is, but it’s a neat idea—and it’s true.

3.  Make every day a masterpiece.

If we keep this in mind, we’ll be careful to make every moment count in a meaningful way.

4.  Drink deeply from books, especially the Bible.

I am a definite, unapologetic bookworm.  Here are a few blog posts I’ve written about books, in case you are interested:  Thoughts on Reading, Speaking of Reading…, Best Books, and Books: Snicker-Snack!  

5.  Build shelter for a rainy day.

Yes, it will come. Do not doubt it. Be ready.

6.  Make friendship an art.

I think this one goes hand-in-hand with #2.   Relationships are everything. The second greatest commandment Jesus gave is “Love others as you love yourself.” Treasure the people you love, and let them know it.  Love unconditionally, like God does.

7.  Pray for guidance.

The pastor said, “You will only find meaning in what you were created to do.” So don’t spend your life doing things you hate, living for The Weekend.  He added that it is important to respond to God in faith without worrying about how or what. He will take care of those things. Pray to have the courage to do it.

Excellent ideas, all, and worthy of remembering and following.

I borrowed the picture of Pinocchio from 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Expensive Lessons: It's Only Money

I’ve been learning some expensive lessons lately. Well, let’s hope I’m learning. Here are several lessons I learned just two days ago, along with the remedies I suggested to myself.

Lesson 1: Bottled water is expensive. The ones that are not labeled are not necessarily the bargain water.

Remedy: I should take my own water in my handy-dandy insulated bottle. But if I’m in a pinch and can’t or didn’t, I must ask or find the labels/price tags. Or I could consider drinking out of a water fountain. Really, a dollar and a half for a little bottle of water?!

Lesson 2: Buying a Grow-a-Frog Kit does not actually include the frog itself, but a coupon for the frog, which will be sent when the grandchild submits the coupon. Therefore, there’s no need for me to worry that the frog will die if I do not have it shipped “overnight” for a considerably higher fee.

Remedy: I might perhaps practice paying attention to instructions and descriptions. Or as a sign I once saw said, “Surprise us all and THINK!”

Lesson 3: Having copies made at FedEx/Kinko’s can cost me up to about $15.00 by the time I ask their computer to print 12 copies of 2 pages, and then it only completes 8, and I then finish my copying on a plain Kinko’s copier rather than waiting in a slow, long line to complain, because I don’t have time.

Remedy: The key phrase here is “because I don’t have time.” The remedy is, of course, to be organized and make enough time to do the printing on my own printer at home and then make my copies at a free copy machine I know of.

You recognize, of course, that these are good remedies for familiar kinds of problems, common at least at my house. The question remains, though, whether I will forgive myself, saying, "Oh, it's only a little money," or watch myself with a wary eye.

I borrowed the picture of the disgusted kitty from this site: