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Be courteous, kind and forgiving. Be gentle and peaceful each day. Be warm and human and grateful, and have a good thing to say. Be thoughtful and trustful and childlike. Be witty and happy and wise. Be honest and love all your neighbors.

Be obsequious, purple, and clairvoyant. Be pompous, obese, and eat cactus. Be dull, and boring, and omnipresent. Criticize things you don’t know about. Be oblong and have your knees removed. Be tasteless, rude, and offensive. Live in a swamp and be three dimensional. Put a live chicken in your underwear. Get all excited and go to a Yawning Festival.

~ Steve Martin, “Grandmother’s Song” from Let’s Get Small
  1. Value individual perspectives. Recognize that everyone has their unique viewpoint, shaped by their own experiences, upbringing, and biases. Instead of searching for absolute truths, appreciate the diversity of perspectives and learn from them. Engage in open-minded discussions and exchange ideas with others to broaden your understanding of the world. Be aware of your own biases and strive to challenge them in order to grow and become more empathetic. By valuing different perspectives, you can cultivate tolerance, empathy, and enrich your life with diverse insights.
  2. When you’re angry or upset and raise your voice, you stop listening. Before you confront someone with how you feel, take a deep breath, and think about what you need from them and how to ask them for what you need. Also ask yourself what you need and how best to approach the situation that will give you both the most positive outcome.
  3. Your real character shines through most with how you handle yourself when faced with adversity, when you are tired, hurting, sad, or angry. Stop being mad and taking it personally when other people are not who you want them to be.
  4. Life is like a sandwich. Sometimes it’s delicious, but other times, you find a hair in it.
  5. You can help the bees and other pollinators by planting various native flowers with different shapes, sizes, and colors. If you change this up so plants bloom at different times of the year, you will provide a continuous food source. Chemicals in pesticides can harm pollinators, so research natural pest control methods. Many bees and other pollinators need a place to nest. Leave some bare ground for ground-nesting bees and provide wood, bamboo, or hollow stems for cavity-nesting bees. You can also install bee houses to give them a safe place to lay their eggs. They need water to drink, so consider providing a shallow dish with water and some pebbles or marbles for them to land on, preventing them from drowning.
  6. Always leave yourself an “out” when sitting in traffic. This is also true in life.
  7. Sometimes family is a shelter from the storm. Sometimes family can be the storm itself.
  8. Always keep your word.
  9. We can forgive mistakes of competence, but mistakes of integrity are a bit harder to overcome. Know the difference.
  10. Life is not all about you, but your role is vitally important. You are one piece of a bigger universe.
  11. Be a good listener. Look for the meaning behind what someone is saying. You can gauge whether you are a good listener if the other person feels heard.
  12. In the fall and after all of the leaves have fallen from the trees, consider leaving some leaves on the ground, as they can provide habitat and food for pollinators and other insects. Leaves can also be used as mulch for garden beds, providing shelter for insects and improving soil health. If you must rake leaves in the fall, consider creating a small leaf pile in the corner of your yard where pollinators and other insects can find shelter during the winter.
  13. Learn how your animals communicate. If you get mad because they may have done something you do not want them to do, then you probably were not listening or paying attention to them.
  14. Respect and value the world around you. Do not litter, and always minimize your impact when you are outdoors. Live in agreement with nature.
  15. The amount of hate in this world always comes at the same rate as the amount of love. The important part is to not focus on the hate but look for the love.
  16. Always be the true and best version of yourself. But, unfortunately, you might have to fake it to get through the challenging moments around thoughtless people.
  17. Surround yourself with those whose eyes light up when they see you coming.
  18. Give a good hug. But be mindful in situations when a hug is not welcomed. Always respect boundaries.
  19. You are going to change. And so are other people in your life. So expect this to happen and work towards making these inevitable changes positive.
  20. If you break something, own up to it. Clean it up, fix or replace it.
  21. When you are driving at night, and the lights from oncoming traffic make it hard to see, try to keep an eye on the white line on the right side of the road (the shoulder).
  22. Try to understand what you can and cannot control. Do not needlessly suffer by giving power to things you have no direct control over…like when it is hot outside, the power goes out, or when another driver cuts you off. Focus only on what you can control and let go of the rest.
  23. It’s best to mow the lawn in the late afternoon or early evening. This allows pollinators to forage during the day, as many are active during daylight hours. Additionally, try to mow your lawn less frequently, leaving some areas to grow longer and providing a better habitat for pollinators. Who cares what the neighbors think.
  24. Life keeps going on, whether you pay attention to it or not.
  25. Get a “No Solicitors” sign for your front door. If someone still knocks on your door selling something, you can ignore them or open the door with a firm “No thanks” and shut the door. They only get sales by engaging in high-pressure sales tactics to keep the door open and to make you feel bad. Don’t fall for it or engage with them.
  26. Do not give something away and expect something in return.
  27. When it comes time for gift-giving, try to create something special, unique, and useful for someone instead of buying them something, even if what you have made them kind of sucks.
  28. Try not to talk unless you have something important or positive to say. Ask meaningful questions and be an attentive listener.
  29. Stop complaining, whining, and moaning. It may feel good or even be fun at first, but no one likes to be around someone who complains all the time. If there is an injustice, sure…call it out, make a plan and take action. Make things better. Just complaining about things is futile.
  30. Be a good person, even when no one is around.
  31. When pulling up to a stoplight or stop sign, do not go past the white line. It is best to actually stop at least a foot or two before the line to make sure that you trigger the light sensor and to give room for other drivers who will need to turn in front of you.
  32. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If something isn’t true, don’t say it.
  33. Always be where you are.
  34. Immersing yourself in nature is a powerful way to foster a sense of interconnectedness and promote overall well-being. Spending time outdoors allows you to experience the natural world’s beauty, complexity, and harmony, reminding you of your place within the universe. Connecting with nature can also provide perspective on life’s challenges and help alleviate stress and anxiety. Make a conscious effort to spend time in natural settings, observing and appreciating the intricate web of the life and energy surrounding you.
  35. If you’re considering getting a pet, plan how to deal with travel and time away, the expense of a good vet, and what to do with all of the poop.
  36. Be mindful of the tone and volume of your voice and how to speak. The way you talk is a reflection of your intelligence. Choose your words carefully and talk loud enough to be heard. If you have something to say, say it confidently and loud enough to be heard.
  37. Make your choice of bird feeder and bird food based on what birds you know you have around your home. Squirrels are fun to watch and to have around, so consider finding an area for the squirrels where you can drop some corn, sunflower seeds, or unshelled peanuts.
  38. Always consider the bigger picture when making decisions. Think of it like you are playing a game of chess, and try to foresee how one move will affect the next several moves, how it will affect others in your game, as well as the final outcome. Never make a decision when you are angry, or make promises when you are happy.
  39. If you let a bully push you around, they will never stop pushing you around. Stand up for yourself but be smart about it.
  40. It is good to be assertive, confident, and self-possessed, but this should be balanced with honesty, compassion, generosity, and kind-heartedness.
  41. Defend yourself and your family. When it comes to your and your family’s safety, follow your gut instinct and do not hesitate. Know how to throw a good, solid punch (the best placement for the first punch is typically the nose) or when to walk/run away.
  42. Stop tickling someone when they tell you to stop, even if they are laughing.
  43. Find someone to share moments with. We humans are not meant to be alone, and we spend a lot of time and effort fighting against loneliness. You are no exception. Whether you are sightseeing at the Grand Canyon or flying past Jupiter for the first time, it can seem like you were never there if you do not physically share the experience with someone.
  44. Learn which spiders and snakes are good and which ones to avoid. Know what to do if bitten.
  45. Walk with your head up. Be mindful of your surroundings and the others around you.
  46. Strive to develop composure and a calm mind with what is happening in your life, especially if things seem to be terrible. It is essential to remain calm and at peace during hard times and when dealing with difficult people. Breathe, listen, and try to keep some perspective. This does not mean being overly passive or not taking action when you need to.
  47. If you have someone over who has hearing problems, reduce the amount of background noise in your home as much as possible.
  48. Always tell the truth, even if it hurts and makes people hate you for it.
  49. Life is short and will soon come to an end, so always be ready to die. If you are lucky enough to have friends and family around you on your deathbed, do not let them focus on the sadness of your soon-to-be departure, but help them smile, celebrate your life, and be grateful for your time together.
  50. It is nearly impossible to change someone’s core values, but if you examine someone closely enough, you will find that you will likely have a lot of shared values like love, family, security, freedom, etc. Focus on those. It is healthy and essential to challenge, disagree, and debate, but problems happen when you do not respect someone else’s beliefs, opinions, and points of view. And if you disagree with someone else’s way of living, you can still love them and show them compassion versus hating or fearing them.
  51. If someone has a booger dangling from their nose hole or stuck to their top lip, discreetly let them know about it.
  52. If you see a turtle in the road, safely stop and help it — make sure to point him in the same direction that he was facing.
  53. Try to make other people laugh and smile. Be silly and spontaneous.
  54. When you are having a conversation with someone, keep your phone out of sight (unless you are trying to hint that you need to leave the conversation). If you get a text or your phone rings, ignore it. If it keeps ringing, then politely check your phone.
  55. When you are generous, some people will begin to take advantage of you. Do not let yourself get manipulated, and learn to spot “dry begging” (when someone asks for something in a non-direct and vague way).
  56. Have a firm grip when giving a handshake. Lean a little forward, smile, and look them in the eye.
  57. Check in with a friend or loved one if they have recently been sick or have been to the doctor.
  58. Animals have feelings and their own personalities. Show compassion and love, and do not be cruel.
  59. Sometimes all a struggling plant needs is different light or location, fed, or a change in the soil. When you have a plant, they are your responsibility. Don’t give up on them so easily.
  60. When you ask someone how they are doing…mean it. They may think that the question is a rhetorical one, so you may need to ask it again in a different way.
  61. Being around and taking care of plants and flowers is excellent for your health. If you have planted a flower or some other plant, it is your responsibility to take care of it. And talk positively and lovingly to plants, flowers, and trees. Even if it is just in your head.
  62. Stop caring what you think people think about you. When you go out in public, 98.3% of people will not even notice you, and the ones that might see you do not care about you and will not remember you.
  63. Buy a nice and thoughtful gift for someone and send it to them anonymously.
  64. Think of those who are important to you that you do not get to see or talk to too much anymore. Then, set a monthly date in your calendar to remind you to check in with them.
  65. If you ever find yourself riding a baby elephant on your way to Pankot Palace, do not pour perfume on its head.
  66. Be genuine when talking to others and share your true feelings and thoughts, instead of holding them back. Speak from the heart.
  67. Learn about the different types of trees where you live and read up on how plants and trees communicate. Take great care when planting a tree to make sure you consider how much sun and natural water it needs, and how invasive and aggressive some root systems can be (so you are not digging up and replacing water/sewage pipes).
  68. Memorize how someone likes their coffee, and surprise them with a fresh cup every once in a while.
  69. When you notice someone isn’t paying attention to what you’re saying (or trying to say), take a break from talking to them. If they continue to not listen, stop talking to them. Find people that will listen and talk to them instead.
  70. If you have company over, turn off your TV and/or video games, and put away your phone. Even if this is friends or family that you always see. They are there to see you…not to compete for your attention. And when someone visits, always offer them something to eat and drink, and make sure they are comfortable.
  71. Excusing someone’s bad behavior because they act like a victim or if they claim to have had a hard time growing up might just be enabling the bad behavior in the first place.
  72. Prioritize love and connection, cultivate meaningful relationships, and express gratitude for those who enrich your life.
  73. Practicing empathy and compassion towards yourself and others is vital to achieving interconnectedness. Recognizing that all beings are interconnected and treating others with kindness and understanding helps to create a more harmonious and loving world.