Just in case this is the first “Rules for a Happy Life” you have seen, there are four others before it and more coming after it, so if you don’t see everything you want or need or think you should see here, perhaps you can find it in one of the other blogs on the same subject. I initially didn’t plan on sharing this with everyone, but my son in law found it and told me I must share it, so I agreed. I wasn’t going to share it because my brain works overtime, and I had written too many things down, but I decided to give it to you in installments because I do want to share things that I know that can make people happier.
41.Remember the story of the blind men and the elephant. When I was a little girl, there was a story I read in one of my books about a group of blind men who wanted to see an elephant. They went out as a group searching for an elephant and found one. Since they couldn’t see, they touched the elephant. One touched the ear and said,”The elephant is like a fan.” However, another touched the trunk and said, “Oh, no, he is more like a snake,” but another had a hold of the tail and said, “You are wrong. He is like a rope.” Still another touched the tusk and said, “No! He is like a spear!” While still another touched his side and said, “He is like a wall. You are all wrong.” Another had his arms around the elephant’s leg saying, “I beg to differ. You are all wrong. He is like a tree trunk.” They were all right, but not right either because they couldn’t touch the elephant all at once. They disagreed, but didn’t know why. I often hold a book up for people to see. I let someone tell me what they see on the book, and they are looking at only one side of the book, so they say, “I see a picture and the title and author of the book.” The other says, “I see the reviews of the book.” They often say they see different colors. However, they are all looking at the same thing. We need to realize that everyone has a different perspective. We can all look at the same thing and end up seeing something completely different. There is no reason to argue. None of us knows everything. Especially if we are from different countries, this is very true. Everyone had a different starting place. Everyone has preconceived notions. Everyone has ideas they think are right, and they may not be the same as yours, but does it make them wrong?. There are some things that are right and wrong, but we need to know that most people aren’t wrong even if we didn’t know what they said before.
42. Be careful about which neighborhood you choose to live in. When we went to Abilene, Texas and were looking for a house, we were shown a big beautiful house. It had a huge living room with a fire place. It had several nice big bedrooms, and we were surprised when we learned it only cost $10,000. However, we learned that just the night before, right in front of the house on the street, there had been a knife fight. There was blood in the street. Needless to say, we didn’t take the house. I could give more examples, but regardless of where you are from, check out the neighborhood before you move into a house there. Ask lots of questions about the neighborhood before you accept a house.
43. Learn from how people treat you. No one should ever treat you badly as you should never treat anyone else badly either. However, there are times that you can’t stop what other people do, and they treat you badly. Don’t look at it as a completely negative thing. Learn from it. Learn to look out so it won’t happen to you again. Think about what led up to the problems. If you see the problems again, try to change the circumstances so it doesn’t happen again. If they treat you badly, never go out and do the same to another person. You know how it feels, and surely you wouldn’t wish it on someone else.
44. Don’t make promises lightly. Keep your word. If you lie, people will stop trusting you. If you make promises and don’t keep them, people will stop trusting you. Life is hard if people don’t trust you. If you make a promise, make sure you can keep it. Think back to people who have lied to you. How much do you trust them?
45. Forgive, no matter how hard it is. Do it for yourself. You don’t want to be upset every time you think about someone or see someone. People are going to do you wrong in your life. It is the nature of human beings, but forgive them, not because they deserve it, but because you deserve it. You deserve not to run around with bad feelings inside of you.
46. Don’t worry. Yes, you say forgiveness is hard, and now you tell me not to worry. That is hard too. However, what good does worry do? Worrying gives you ulcers. Your worrying causes other people to be unhappy too. Can you change anything by worrying? If you think something bad is going to happen, get up and do something about it. Don’t worry. If there is nothing you can do about it, you will just have to accept what comes regardless, so why bother worrying? If you are worried a tornado is coming, go to a storm shelter. Don’t pace and look out all the windows watching the tornado. If there is no storm shelter, find the best place you can to get away from it and relax. If you have done all you can do, you should just relax because worrying just makes you feel worse. If you think your kids are out too late, call them on their cell phone and tell them to come home. If they don’t come home and you know where they are and are afraid they will get in trouble, go get them. Otherwise, relax and leave them alone. If there is nothing you can do, don’t make it worse by worrying.
47. If something is good, it is good. It doesn’t matter how old it is. Things don’t have to be brand new to be good. When we lived in Romania, people learned I was watching “American movie classics on TV.” They couldn’t understand why anyone would watch old movies. I suggested they tried, so they did and learned that they really enjoyed those old movies and that I was right. I have a whole book case full of old DVD’s. The old movie stars were good. The old stories were good. It is okay if they are black and white. It is okay if they don’t have all the digital displays of fancy things to see. Good stories and good actors and actresses are still good. Elvis Presley was the same age as my dad, much older than I am, but I have been listening to his music for years because it is good regardless of how old it is. Your mother’s recipe for a chocolate cake was delicious when you were growing up. If you make it now, it is the same recipe and just as delicious. The Bible is 2,000 years old, but the story is just as astounding and tugs on the heart just as much now as it ever did if you take time to read it or listen to it. Everything doesn’t have to be up to date and in style.
48. This is modern wisdom and could save lives: Go ahead and pull over before you answer your cell phone. It is better to take the time to pull over before you answer that ringing phone than it is to get in a car accident. The first car accident I was ever in, a woman was talking on her cell phone and didn’t realize I was there. If her eyes and thoughts were on the road, that accident would never have happened.
49. Let others go first when you are driving. I never understood how important this really was to vocalize until I came to Korea. There are people in this world who just must be first. If you are in a crowd of people, they will push their way to the front. If you are standing in line, they will cut. They push and shove trying to be first. If I am driving in Korea, they do that in their cars. They could very easily cause a wreck if I didn’t know the nature of a Korean driver. I never push myself first. If I did, I would cause a car wreck. I let everyone go first and hope someone will be polite to me too, and if they don’t, I just go last. I would rather go last than be dead. I don’t care who gets there first. I just want to eventually get there. If I am driving in Korea, I have learned that they do what is illegal in America. In America, if you see the car ahead of you put on their signal and begin to change lanes, you slow down and let them. However, that is not how Koreans think. If they see that signal light go on, they take it as a sign that someone wants to get in front of them, and they can’t have it. They speed up trying to get in front of you before you change lanes. If I didn’t understand the way they drive or insisted on being first, I would hit them. I have patience. I put my turn indicator on, and I wait for them to pass me and get in front so they will be happy and not cause a wreck, then I change lanes. We don’t have to be first. We have to have patience so we will live.
Okay, here is your bit of wisdom from an older lady today. I hope you can use it to make your life happier. Knowing these things makes me happier and keeps me out of trouble. Take care.