Few things irk me more than chain e-mails. I don’t want the Pope’s blessing, the Dalai Lama’s words of wisdom, kisses and balloon from my girlfriends reminding me how wonderful our friendship is and, here is the kick, there is always the obligation to pass the e-mail on to another 1,000 recipients to avoid misfortune. “Don’t hold on to this message!!!” is invariably the last line and even the more benevolent ones, the ones that say “Nothing bad will happen to you if you don’t pass it on, but if you do you will receive a pleasant surprise” have a threatening sub-text.
And the degree of pleasantness that will be bestowed upon you is often spelled out in quantitative terms: if you pass it on from 1 to 5 people you will receive a mild surprise, 5 to 20 a nice surprise, 20 to a zillion your life will change. So, no matter how pretty the pictures or how much I love the sender, my tactic is never to open chain mails or never to get to the last page because I know my superstitious self will not be able to resist the menacing undertone which will prompt me to inflict the message to other unsuspecting souls who couldn’t give a crap.
The list of Good Advice underneath came from a friend who is more militant than me in deleting chain mails but found some good advice in the short, staccato sentences. And you don’t have to pass it on.
Some of it will resonate, some we might take for granted but I am not in the business of attaining perfection, not on this round anyway.
I thought it might be a positive, uplifting way to end a very rainy week. As my friend S’ car mechanic says: It can’t rain all the time. And when the sun comes out, it’s so much sweeter (Pierre Marella). We don’t always need Oscar Wilde for good quotes.
Don’t associate with people you can’t trust.
Don’t cheat. Don’t lie. Don’t pretend.
Don’t dictate because you are smarter.
Don’t demand because you are stronger.
Don’t date because you are desperate.
Don’t marry because you are miserable.
Don’t have kids because you think your genes are superior.
Don’t philander because you think you are irresistible.
Don’t hurt your kids because loving them is harder.
Don’t sell yourself, your family, or your ideals.
Don’t live in the past. Time can’t bring anything or anyone back.
Don’t put your life on hold for possibly Mr Right or throw your life away on Mr. Wrong.
Learn a new skill.
Find a new friend.
Start a new career.
Sometimes, there is no race to be won, only a price to be paid for some of life’s more hasty decisions.
Simplify your life. Take away the clutter.
Don’t abandon your responsibilities but don’t overdose on duty.
Don’t live life recklessly without thought and feeling for your family.
Be true to yourself.
Don’t commit when you are not ready.
Don’t keep others waiting needlessly.
Go on that trip.
Say those words.
Do what you have to, even at society’s scorn.
Take care of yourself. Don’t wait for someone to take care of you.
You light up your life. You drive yourself to your destination.
No one completes you – except YOU.
It isn’t true that life does not get easier with age.
It only gets more challenging.
Don’t be afraid. Don’t lose your capacity to love.
Pursue your passions.
Live your dreams.
Don’t lose faith in yourself.
Don’t grow old. Just grow YOU!