I have no idea who this guy is, but he published a book titled Life’s Little Instruction Book back in the day (1991, to be exact), giving us hundreds of suggestions (511 of them) on how to best live our lives. I don’t know what qualified him for such an undertaking, and quite frankly, I don’t care. He’s hit the nail on the head with me. The ol’ boy really has a handle on what matters and what doesn’t. I, for one, am going to work a little harder to subscribe to his many thoughts.
Here’s a sample of Mr. Brown’s wisdom.
Look people in the eye. Don’t carry a grudge. Avoid negative people. Never take action when angry. Don’t interrupt. Slow dance. Admit your mistakes. Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards. Be the first to say, “Hello.” Be kinder than is necessary. Don’t major in minor things. Never give up on anything — miracles happen every day. Never deprive someone of hope — it may be all they have. Live beneath your means.
Here is just a baker’s dozen plus one (i.e., 14) of his thoughts for a better life. I can improve on every one of these nuggets. Are you pretty good at most of these? When was the last time you slow danced? He’s not lying — negative people are the worst. Avoid them whenever possible — they bring you down.
“Don’t major in minor things” is a great lesson for sure. Sort of like “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Life is too short — I can say that without hesitation. Somebody near and dear to me struggles with this on occasion. We talk it through and refocus our energies on what really matters. I refuse to get all wadded up over things and stuff.
Growing up, my buddies and I would sit on the side of a small creek (actually, a drainage ditch) in the front of the house, pick a target (usually the mailbox) on the other side, and throw small rocks to try and hit it. We’d talk the entire time mostly about nothing of importance — girls, baseball and the like. We could have been doing other things with sizzle and substance, but then we wouldn’t have been cementing relationships that last to this day. Seriously, that rock throwing is way up there on the list of memories that I’ve tucked away as some of the best.
The kids in my neighborhood sell lemonade. It’s a quarter a cup. I stop, get a cup, give them a dollar and instruct them to keep the change. You’d think I was Santa Claus. Yes, “Be kinder than is necessary” is a really good life lesson.
Remind me to tell you about the kid who sold potatoes door to door. You’ll love it.