This is the second installation of these rules. That means that what you read here is not everything. I have close to eighty rules I have collected thought time. They are things I have learned through experience and things that other people have said to me that work. My Korean son in law suggested I share my list with you, so I am doing it is small increments. I hope you can get some good out of these rules because I know they work.
11. Tell the truth, but be kind. People don’t want to be lied to. If they find out you have lied, they won’t trust you anymore, and that messes the relationship up. It is better sometimes just to say nothing. However, there are times people ask something, and you feel forced to answer, but you know they won’t like the answer. You have to tell the truth, but it doesn’t mean you have to say it in such a way that it hurts them. If you hurt them, you won’t have a friend. If you don’t tell the truth, you won’t have a friend either. I try to describe the way American southerns talk sometimes, and I say they give you a bouquet of flowers, and inside the flowers somewhere, you will find the truth, but the flowers makes the truth easier to bear. I believe in doing things that way. I like it because it works. When I grade student papers, even if I have to give a bad grade, I look for something good on the paper and comment on that too. A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. A student once did so badly on a paper that she got a really bad grade. I looked and looked for something good to say about her paper. Even if she had terrible grammar and terrible structure, her thoughts were good. She was thrilled with the comment that her thoughts were good and accepted the bad grade gracefully. She took a picture of the comments and sent it to her mother.
12. Encourage good relationships among those around you. It is never fun to be in the middle of someone else’s feud. You really don’t want to be responsible for any tensions that take place. Watch your mouth and don’t say the wrong thing to the wrong person. Even if you know something bad, don’t say it because it could cause trouble, and you would be right in the middle of it. If I am in the same room with two people having a discussion, and one person begins to get mad at the other, I quickly say something to try to defuse the situation. If I can, I get them off the topic they are on. I want people around me to love one another.
13. Never forget your mother. An American professor who is a missionary in Japan told me and a group of students this once, and he is right. Your mother is your mother. Whether you realize it or not, she is the best friend you will ever have. If you don’t have any other friends, she will be your friend. She may not be perfect, but she feels a connection that unless you are a mother you just can’t quite understand. When I was pregnant with my second child, my husband said to me, “You loved that child before she was ever born, but it took me seeing her to love her.” Fathers love us, but mothers love us in an inexplicable way. There have been times that I felt on the outside and that there were people who just couldn’t treat me well at all, and when that happened, I went to my mother’s house My mother’s door is always open.
14. People are more important than money. I’d rather have a sincere hug than have cash handed to me. People who work their lives away trying to get rich and neglect their family one day turn around and realize that there is no one there to hug them anymore. I live in Korea, the land of workaholics. The kids get shipped off to English schools after school. the mother has her job and her friends. The father has his job and his friends. Their friends are at their jobs because they need people. People like that have put getting rich over their families. Their children end up coming to the teachers and crying because they want to be with their parents. Things are only things. They decay and go bad with use. There is nothing you can do about it, but that family will always be there. We need not to waste them, but nurture them. There is a guy here in Korea I have lost touch with because he just couldn’t figure out that people were more important than money. He works seven days a week. He has never been married, but he is saving lot s of money for a nice big house where he will have to live alone.
15. You can’t get time back. It is just a fact of life. If you have wasted it, it is gone. There is no recovery. Those parents who are spending all their time away from their kids while they are growing up will one day wake up and realize they want that child’s company, but the child will be grown and out of the house. Have you heard the song, “The cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon. When you coming home?” It goes from the son looking for the father to the father looking for he son, ad the other one never has time. It is sad.
16. You are the only person you can control. I learned this at a very crucial point in my life. My husband had gone completely crazy. I wanted to sit him down and tell him how to act like I used to my kids, but he was so out of control he wouldn’t listen to reason from anyone. You can’t rope a person and tie them down and gag them if they are screaming like an idiot, so just get away from them. The only thing I could do was to control my reaction to his behavior. I teach Bible classes, and I am a woman. There are many people who have tried to put up road blocks because they think women shouldn’t teach Bible, but I am still teaching Bible. I am not a preacher, but I just open up the Bible and read it with people, and there are people who have trouble if women do that. If I want to do it, I will find a way. We may think we can control one another, but in the long run, we are only deluding ourselves. In Romania under Communism, they tried to control one another so that no one got more than the others. They couldn’t do it. I knew a man who had a heater in his house that he had invented because the heat he was aloud to have wasn’t enough. He hid his heater and got warm anyway. They couldn’t control him. We might think we are controlling other people, but they still have a mind that is separate. We may not even realize we aren’t controlling them.
17. Good trees don’t bear bad fruit. This is a Biblical concept that we all really need to listen to if we want to be happy. I went through the school of hard knocks to really learn this well. Someone can tell you they are good, but look around them. What kind of friends do they have? Who do they prefer to hang out with? What do other people think of them? What kind of track record do they have? Bad things happen to everyone, but if someone is trying to do good things, they won’t consistently show bad fruit . Look for the signs. Don’t let it creep up on you. I learned the hard way how important it is to look for the signs. My best friends are people who love goodness. The Bible tells us to be careful of wolves in sheep’s clothing, and we really should.
18. If something breaks, fix it because if you don’t, you will only have more problems. If you have a rip in your clothing, sew it up. If you don’t, it will continue to rip. I am using a computer in bad need of repair. When it first messed up, I tried to get it repaired, and the repair man said it couldn’t be repaired. It went from one little crack in the case to completely falling apart. I have it taped together, and I have to balance it just right or the computer will flop over and turn off, and i will lose everything I have types. I just haven’t replaced it because I am going to America, and I want to wait until I am in America where computers are cheaper. We had a couch that a little girl my daughter was baby sitting with decided to put a hole in. The next thing you know, she was pulling the whole cover off the couch. Should couldn’t leave the one little hole alone. I should have covered that hole and kept her away from the couch. At times, I have allergy problems in the fall. I have to be very careful and take care of them allergy problems right. If I don’t, the same concept applies. the mucus gets down in my chest, gets infected, and I end up with pneumonia. If I had handled it right to begin with, I would have gotten so sick. If something seems just like a small problem, fix it before it gets out of control. I haven’t had pneumonia in years. I have learned.
19. Purity pays. My mother used to quote my great grandmother who always said, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”She is right. If I keep my dishes done, I don’t’ get bugs or mice. I bought a cabinet from a friend once, and they didn’t tell me they had roaches, but after I got it home, I found a roach in it. I cleaned it completely with bleach. I kept my dishes done. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned my kitchen, and I got rid of my friends’s roaches they accidentally gave me. Another friend got furniture from them too. I hated to go to that friend’s house because it ended up overrun with cockroaches. Take the trash out. Wash the dishes. Even if the house is messy, if it is clean, it pays. If you take a bath, you don’t stink. If you don’t sleep around, you don’t get diseases that are passed on thorough sex. If you brush your teeth, you have less cavities. If you wash your face, you have less pimples. Cleanliness in many ways really pays off.
20. When someone points a finger, there are four more pointing back at them. None of us are perfect. For every fault we think someone else has, they can probably see may more in us. Just focusing in on someone else’s faults is a fault in itself. There is a concept that comes from the Bible again. You have to take the plank out of your own eye before you can help someone else who only has a bug in their eye. We all look around thinking other people have faults, but first, we need to handle our own. A fat person doesn’t teach people to lose weight. An unhappy person doesn’t teach people to be happy because they don’t know how. I am happy. It has taken me lots of lessons to figure things out. I am telling you the lessons I have learned that got me where I am hoping you don’t fall in the same traps. There are times in my life I have been happier than others. However, like everyone else, I have been through hard times. However, if I had known some of the things I know now, I wouldn’t have had as many hard times. I hope I can help you so you don’t fall into the holes I fell into. I haven’t fallen into as many holes as some people, but we all fall into those holes. If you listen to the things I’m telling you, maybe you’ll miss some of the holes.