A Grin at the End: Changing tactics – Out with the resolutions, in with words of wisdom

February, 2016 Posted in Other

carl-sampsonBy Carl Sampson

Here we are again, standing on the precipice of an entirely new year. It’s a blank slate that we will fill in for the next 366 days — 2016 is a leap year.

I just hope we do a good job.

Some folks start the year with a list of resolutions. I am usually one of them.

My resolutions tend to be annual, in that I never accomplish what I set out to do – lose weight, be nicer, act my age, start a garden.

They just don’t happen.

So this year, I’m changing tactics. Instead of recycling resolutions, I’m offering myself some words to live by.

I find myself inspired by some of the ideas I run across. If I could just live up to those words, I’d be way ahead of the game. The words are filled with wisdom, and truth.

Here are some:

Don’t believe everything you think. I don’t know who originally said this. I think I saw it on a bumper sticker or on a book title. Anyway, there’s a lot of wisdom in it. These days, many people seem to go off half-cocked. They hear or read something on the Internet and they adopt it as gospel. Similarly, they come up with some sort of theory about politics, the climate – or anything else – and they assume it must be true because they thought of it. Knowing facts from fiction could help each of us a lot.

Trust but verify. Ronald Reagan – or his speech writers – came up with this when he was dealing with the old Soviet Union. I think we should all do the same thing but in a different way. We need to trust each other to do the right thing, but we also should verify it. At the same time, we should trust our instincts but verify that they are based on fact or reality or both.

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy famously offered this challenge to Americans in his inaugural speech. I often wonder whether I – or many other folks – think about that when we whine about how Uncle Sam treats us. I wonder whether it’s Uncle Sam who could use our help and support these days. I know veterans and active members of the military have done their part. What about the rest of us?

Wag more, bark less. I know, this is another saying off a bumper sticker, but I like it. I believe I and others spend too much time girding for battle instead of enjoying life and each other’s company while we’re here together on this planet.

Too much of a good thing is – wonderful. Mae West had it right. We spend a lot of time fussing about whether we should have had that second piece of pie, or whether we deserved to get that gift. In the overall scheme of things, it matters not. As long as we don’t overindulge, it’s all good. Enjoy!

There you go – words to live by in 2016. My only worry is that I won’t make it through the first day before forgetting about them.

Oh, well. There’s always next year.

Carl Sampson is an editor and  freelance writer . 

 

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