I am writing this column with my 53rd birthday looming on August 1st.
The passing of another precious year always seems to require a period
of quiet contemplation regarding life's elusive lessons.
(It also prompts writers with too much time on their hands to offer
unsolicited words of wisdom based on said lessons.)
So, I suspect, if left unchecked, I'll get wrecked and subject my readers'
intellect to thoughts so introspect, that they may elect to select,
or reject, that upon which I reflect.
The effect, I project, will allow you to detect, and dissect, the lessons
Oops, I think that last bit made me a little dizzy! So, without further
ado, here's a personal list of suggestions that might make time spent
on planet Earth a little kinder.
1) Respect Each Other: Especially the differences,
between people, and countries and religions, and political parties,
and ages, and beliefs. These are the things that make life interesting.
(If all the butterflies were Republican bankers, they'd all come in
the color green!)
2) Genuflect For Each Other: Or what ever you do
to say a little prayer for the next guy. Find the place inside of you
that truly wishes well for all our Fellow travelers. Try to visit that
place more often.
3) Be Direct With Each Other: How many relationships
fall apart because people can't or won't talk to each other honestly?
Lies run out of time.
Also, try never to utter the line, "If you don't know what's wrong,
I'm certainly not going to tell you!" Those of us who are not psychics
sometimes guess wrong.
4) Inspect Each Other: Check out what makes each
person "tick." Exercise your empathy and understanding muscles.
You just might discover the shared humanity that unites and defines
us all. It feels good.
5) Learn Dialects From Each Other: Go back to having
fun with the differences between folks.
I used to love telling bad Scottish jokes in Scottish dialect to my
wonderful Scottish songwriting friend, the late Glen Maguire.
When we were kids, we told Polish jokes to our Polish friends, Afro
Canadian jokes to our Afro Canadian friends, etc.
I guarantee you, I never felt hurt by any "wasp" jokes I
was told. I would have felt hurt and excluded if it were otherwise.
Kids have a natural instinct about laughter and playfulness, making
the bad stuff go away.
So, stop being politically correct! It does not replace genuine warmth.
Celebrate the differences with laughter as well as respect. In short,
6) Don't Neglect Each Other: Some family and friends
are more high maintenance than others.
That's just the way it is. People don't come with unlimited warranties.
Life's wear and tear takes its toll.
We all require repairs from time to time, so try to be a fixer, not
7) Help Connect Each Other: Embrace and nurture
a sense of community in everything you do.
Whether it's based on the neighborhood in which you live, or the job
you do, or the interests you have, etc., it feels good to belong somewhere
and to share a sense of good will and understanding. It gets pretty
8) Resurrect Each Other: We all have the opportunity
to help folks get back on their feet, when they've hit bottom. Do it.
It may be your turn to need help, sooner than later.
And while I'm at it, I may need all the help I can get, blowing out
the inferno that my birthday cake has become.
So, dear readers, I'd best save some of this hot air just for that
purpose. In other words, it's time to disconnect
P.S. Visit Norm's web site: www.normhacking.com