Skip to main content

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?
 .

Comments

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!!!

Popular posts from this blog

Camp fires, wood smoke, and burning leaves.

 When I was a kid, everyone burned leaves in the fall. I always enjoyed it so much.It was a happy time. Man, that smell was amazing and you couldn’t go anywhere without smelling it. Of course now I know that it is a major source of air pollution and those of us that live inside the city limits are restricted from doing it. I don’t think I would burn them anyway, choosing to compost instead.
The whole family would engage in raking the yard and the reward was burning the leaves. The thick gray smoke would pour out like liquid clouds and we would run through it. Afterward, we smelled like smoke, but we didn’t care. I would wager that most people under the age of 30 have never even raked leaves into a pile, let alone burn them.
Growing up in north Georgia in the late 60’s, my 3 brothers and I would camp out most of the summer and burn anything and everything on our campfire. At the end of summer there wouldn’t be a stick, pine cone, or needle on the ground. We smelled like mountain men a…

Riding the waves

 Back in 1974, after coming back to the USA from the unpleasant conflict in Southeast Asia, I was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California. Vandenberg has 20 miles of coastline that is basically closed to the public and people in residence, regardless if you are in the military or not. This rule didn’t seem to affect my fellow airmen and I from going body surfing on a lonely stretch of beach, far from controlling authorities. There was a submerged shelf that ran out a couple three hundred yards from the beach that was flat and about 6 feet deep.You could swim way out there and as the ocean waves came in, they would hit that shelf and make 5 feet high waves that white-capped all the way in. Now mind you, this was pre-Jaws and none of us had ever heard of a Great White shark. Year later I read where this stretch of beach was prime habitat and a couple years ago, an airman was killed right there.
We had been in the 65 degree water for about an hour and I was turning …

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

I wish I could remember who it was that said you can get a basic education in three years, but let us take a look at Ben Franklin as an example of that. We have a family joke that the answer to almost any Jeopardy clue is almost always “Who was Ben Franklin?”
When I am asked who I would most likely enjoy an afternoon with, it is always Ol’ Ben, the only President of the United States, who was never the President of the United States. Did you know he was the master of self-promotion and a man I admire? Even as a young lad, if he spotted a person of higher station, he would grab a shovel or some tool and begin to work diligently. The person would see him and remark, “What a fine worker that young man is!”
I’ve read a couple of books on the man and it still amazes me that he did so much with so little organized education. “From 1714-1716, Franklin attended Boston Grammar School and George Brownell's English School (for one year each) but he was withdrawn due to the expense of formal…