by Ruth Minshull
NEVER take life too seriously. Maybe this is all a big cosmic joke, and we can’t go free until we catch on to the punch line.
ALWAYS make lots of pictures. The kids will love looking at them later—and it helps keep photo supply people in business.
NEVER trust a quiet child. If you’ve ever had a child (or been one) you will know why.
DON’T try to be a spotless housekeeper. Maybe cleanliness is next to Godliness, but what makes you think He would welcome the competition?
DO limit your pouting. Nobody likes a mewling sourpuss who holds a grudge. It’s childish. Besides, if you keep it up too long, it creates permanent ugly lines around your mouth.
NEVER check your grocery receipts. Sure, you might get overcharged now and then. Just as often, however, you could get undercharged. I figure it all evens out. And look at the hours you would have wasted in useless nit-picking.
TRY (if you’re a woman) to fall in love with a man who’s at least as smart as you are. Otherwise, you’ll spend your life trying to play dumb. If you’re a man, let your self-confidence be your guide.
NEVER make friends with a practical joker. They’ll sacrifice any friendship for a laugh. Besides, they’re not actually funny people; they’re cruel.
ALWAYS look up words you don’t know. It doesn’t take much time, and there’s a thrill in learning something new.
NEVER ask a question of a compulsive talker. Even “How are you?” isn’t safe.
NEVER hesitate to walk away from compulsive talkers. They probably won’t even notice you’re gone.
BE WILLING to say “I don’t know.” It’s not only honest, but it’s so much easier than trying to fake knowledge.
DON’T try to hang your own wallpaper. Life is too short.
TRY to have a good laugh as often as possible. And don’t feel guilty about it. It’s smart therapy for anyone.
DON’T worry about what other people think. Let them worry about what you think.
ALWAYS work efficiently. This gives you more time to play.
DON’T answer the phone unless it’s convenient. Remember it’s supposed to be a convenience—for you, not the other person. Besides, it’s never somebody calling to tell you that you’ve won a million dollars.
DO fall in love as many times as necessary to get it right.
DON’T regret too many things. Just quit doing them.
DON’T make excuses. Simply say, “Sorry, I can’t (come to your party, go to the tractor pull with you, feed your cheetah)…” It’s much classier, will not invite an argument—and it will keep you out of trouble.
ALWAYS be on time. It’s insulting to others if you keep them waiting.
DON’T stay connected to someone who keeps you waiting.
BE WILLING to say “I was wrong.” It really won’t hurt.
WHEN making a list of the characteristics you want in a mate, make another list of what you have to offer.
DON”T be friends with someone who talks about himself or herself all the time.
ALWAYS stay out of quarrels between other people.
NEVER promise a kid anything. Don’t even risk a “maybe.” To a child, that translates into a concrete promise—and every child has a memory that will outlast your lifetime.
ALWAYS avoid arguments about beliefs (religion, politics) and taste (in clothes, decor, colors, pets, art, music, food…). Beliefs are based on emotions rather than reasoning, and while you might be able to change a person’s mind, there’s almost no chance that you’ll change his feelings.
DON’T stay connected to someone who insults you, ridicules you, makes fun of you, teases you, belittles you or makes you uncomfortable in any way.
TRY to be honest with people. It’s easier, and it encourages them to be honest with you.
DON’T be a fashion follower. Be a fashion leader. Wear what you want to wear.
BE GUIDED by your intuition. If you often find yourself saying, “I knew I should have…” you are not trusting your natural savvy.
DO what you believe is right, with or without approval from others.
TRY not to need approval from others. Whose life is this anyway?
NEVER kiss a frog. He might turn into a handsome prince, but you still wouldn’t know who he’d been messing with.
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©2010 by Ruth Minshull