BY BILL RUBIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
The rocket ship with “2018” as its flight number has just about flamed out. It was ridden to its apex and now the ‘chutes deployed. Splashdown in 7-6-5 days. What a ride.
Before the bands play Auld Lang Syne, there is still time for a little reflection and resolutions for the New Year. Back on January 1, 1991, Miss Ann Landers, the queen of advice, offered these thoughts for a happier New Year. For good measure she ran the same advice a year later. They are edited slightly for brevity:
*Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories (edit: a personal call beats a text every time, even if the text uses proper grammar).
*Share a funny story with someone whose spirits are dragging. A good laugh can be very good medicine.
*Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep.
*Pay a debt.
*Give a soft answer.
*Free yourself of envy and malice.
*Encourage some youth to do his or her best. Share your experience, and offer support. Young people need role models.
*Make a genuine effort to stay in closer touch with family and good friends.
*Resolve to stop magnifying small problems and shooting from the lip. Words that you have to eat can be hard to digest.
*Find the time to be kind and thoughtful. All of us have the same allotment: 24 hours a day. Give a compliment. It might give someone a badly needed lift.
*Think things through. Forgive an injustice. Listen more. Be kind.
*Apologize when you realize you are wrong. An apology never diminishes a person. It elevates him/her.
*Don’t blow your own horn. If you’ve done something praiseworthy, someone will notice eventually.
*Try to understand a point of view that is different from your own. Few things are 100 percent one way or another.
*Examine the demands you make on others.
*Lighten up. When you feel like blowing your top, ask yourself, “Will it matter a week from today?”
*Laugh the loudest when the joke is on you.
*The sure way to have a friend is to be one. We are all connected by our humanity, and we need each other.
*Avoid malcontents and pessimists. They drag you down and contribute nothing.
*Don’t discourage a beginner from trying something risky. Nothing ventured means nothing gained. Be optimistic. The can-do spirit is the fuel that makes things go.
*Go to war against animosity and complacency.
*Express your gratitude. Give credit when it’s due—and even when it isn’t. It will make you look good.
*Read something uplifting. Deep-six the trash. You wouldn’t eat garbage—why put it in your head?
*Don’t abandon your old-fashioned principles. They never go out of style.
*When courage is needed, ask yourself, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
*Take better care of yourself. Remember, you’re all you’ve got. Pass up that second helping. You really don’t need it. Vow to eat more sensibly. You’ll feel better and look better, too.
*Give yourself a reality check. Phoniness is transparent, and it is tiresome. Take pleasure in the beauty and the wonders of nature. A flower is God’s miracle.
*Walk tall, and smile more. You’ll look 10 years younger.
*Don’t be afraid to say, “I love you.” Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.
*If you have love in your life, consider yourself blessed, and vow to make this the best year ever.
Thanks, Miss Landers. Your advice from 1991 is still relevant. In 2019, B-E-L-I-E-V-E.