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You only get what you give

Bert and Rania Ghani at 24 Hour Fitness

For some time now, it has been on my mind to not only be more productive, but to make a mark on those I come in contact with. Yea, I know what you're thinking. You think I want to put a knot on the head of all those people who need to go back to driving school, right? Yes and no. Just yesterday if seemed like every looney with a car was on the road and my bride and I had made an emergency trip to the gym to pick up cake Rania Ghani had left for us in the refrigerator and we forgot about it.

We hopped in my Jeep and made the three mile drive over and back and I swear we witnessed at least ten acts of aggravated ignorant driving - but that's not what I want to discuss with you today. As much satisfaction as I get from bumping my gums and pounding the steering wheel of my 4X4, it's time to make some corrections. Seriously with all that hot air, all I'm doing is amping up my blood pressure.

I asked this question to 20 of my BFF's (best friends forever) and this is their reply. It is a list that you can print and then challenge yourself to accomplish.

1. Write in cursive so that I don't lose that skill. 2. Don't forget to look at things with childlike wonder. See shapes in the clouds. 3. I should read the bible daily so that I can continue to grow in God's word. Strive to live a life that is pleasing to God. 4. Adopt the Boy Scout philosophy of doing a good deed everyday. 5. Do the crossword puzzle in the paper, read more books and help with the housework. 6. Hold hands with your sweetie or your grandchild every day, or give out hugs to those you genuinely care for. Physical touch keeps you connected to humanity.

7. Daily prayer/meditation time. It keeps you connected to the Creator, and closer to His vision and purpose for your life. 8. Learn something new everyday, a new recipe, or a word. 9. Prepare for "Zombies". Take Self Defense classes. Hone a skill like carpentry. Build bird houses or lawn furniture. Learn to weld. Build metal yard art, lawn furniture. 10 Never look down on anyone, unless you are stopping to help them up. 11. Audit a class, take up art or photography, learn a foreign language.

12. Learn to play an instrument. 13. Random acts of kindness to total strangers. Give give and give. 14. Master writing with your non-dominant hand. Does interesting things to your brain. 15. Pick one thing no matter how small to be grateful for. Be grateful for the little things. They are often the most important. 16. talk to a minimum of 5 people a day, no matter what happens. Old people, young people, neighbors, hot girls at the gym. Engage everyone. Welcome them into your life via conversation with zero expectation of where it goes. Be authentic in your exchange. welcome the good.

17. Keep your list of items posted where you can see it and try to complete your list. 18. Thank a Veteran by picking up their tab if you see them in a restaurant or coffee shop. Get to know your neighbors. Donate an hour to read to children at your local library during storybook time. 19. Think in terms less about yourself...And more of others. 20. Pick up the police officer's lunch tab.

I look at this list of suggestions and nowhere do I see anyone suggesting that we get angry over the way someone violates the rules of the road.  Rats!  I guess I will have to change my evil ways. This week I was closing my spin class at the NASA location and I challenged the class to do an unselfish act of kindness over the next week and I saw it on their faces that a little reminder to do good is a salve for the soul. Sure we all know to do good, but sometimes our fellow citizens do not invoke that response in us. That's why we need lists like the one above and gentle reminders that you only get what you give. What goes around, surely comes around and like the Beatles said; "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make".

Now that we have a plan, what say we put it into action?


Anonymous said…
DDC: Excellent column in The Baytown Sun this morning, Bert. Well said and wonderful advice. Thank you for trying to make people better.
Anonymous said…
Deb Hearn: Uplifting good advice here. If you want to feel better, help a stranger and stay connected to family
Anonymous said…
LOVE ur article. Yes - #21 needs to be "run the loonies off the road!" But then I guess that would make me one of them! Eleanor
Anonymous said…
Mimsy: I love this .Print it out for me so I can hang it on the front of my fridge. Good life lessons & should be visible for children at every opportunity. This is what makes us human & not worthless. Wonderful thoughts son.
Anonymous said…
Joyce Moody: Good advice, hope I can remember many of these things.
Anonymous said…
PG: Bert, sometimes I think some of those folks must have gotten their driver's license from Sears or K-Mart!!!

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