Monday, January 3, 2011

Missing Ann Landers

As a kid, I rarely read any part of the newspaper, with the exception of the comics (I was a Beetle Bailey fan) and Ann Landers' column.  My  husband was listening to the radio the other day and they referenced two of her columns.  He immediately went online to find them because, frankly, they are SO appropriate and yet not taught anymore.  So, I'm gonna post them here. 
First is her Golden Rules for Living:
1.  If you open it, close it.
2.  If you turn it on, turn it off.
3.  If you unlock it, lock it up.
4.  If you break it, admit it.
5.  If you can't fix it, call someone who can.
6.  If you borrow it, return it.
7.  If you value it, take care of it.
8.  If you make a mess, clean it up.
9.  If you move it, put it back.
10. If it belongs to someone else, get permission to use it.
11. If you don't know how to operate it, leave it alone.
12. If it's none of your business, don't ask questions.
Currently, my children have been asked to read these.  Each time they don't follow the rules, I ask them to go get the list and read it to me.  Repetition.  Repetition. Repetition.

Second is the Ten Commandments of How to Get Along with People
1.  Keep skid chains on your tongue.  Always say less than you think.  Cultivate a low, persuasive voice.  How you say it often counts more than what you say.
2.  Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully, no matter what the cost.
3.  Never let an opportunity pass to say a kind and encouraging word to or about somebody.  Praise good work, regardless of who did it.  If criticism is needed, offer it gently, never harshly.
4.  Be interested in others---their pursuits, their work, their homes and families.  Make merry with those who rejoice, and weep with those who mourn.  Let everyone you meet, however humble, feel that you regard him or her as a person of importance.
5. don't burden or depress those around you by dwelling on minor aches and pains and small disappointments.  Remember, everyone is carrying some kind of burden, often heavier than our own.
6.  Keep an open mind.  Discuss, but don't' argue.  It is the mark of a superior mind to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.
7.   Let your virtues, if you have any, speak for themselves.  Refuse to talk of other's vices.  Discourage gossip.  It is a waste of valuable time and can be extremely destructive.
8.  Be careful of another's feelings.  Wit and humor at another person's expense may do more damage than you will ever know.
9.  Pay no attention to disparaging remarks.  Remember the person who carried the message may not be the most accurate reporter in the world and things become twisted in the retelling.  Live so that nobody will believe them.
10.  Don't be too eater to get credit due to you.  Do your best, and be patient.  Forget about yourself, and let others "remember"  Success is much sweeter that way.

So, Ann's Golden Rules are geared more towards my children.  Her 10 commandments have my name written all over them.  My new year resolution is to follow more closely her commandments.  Mostly because I think kids today don't have people in their lives who really LIVE by these rules and as a result, we have a society of self indulgent and self absorbed "children".  We have to set the example.  And the example starts with me.

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