In June of 1993 the police of South Windsor, Connecticut, pulled over motorists in larger numbers than usual, but not because bad drivers had overrun the city.
One person stopped by a patrolman was Lori Carlson, according to the Reuters news service. As the policeman approached her car, she wondered what she had done wrong. To her amazement the officer handed her a ticket that said, “Your driving was great- and we appreciate it.”
On Wednesday, June 9, the authorities in this Hartford suburb had begun a new program to give safe drivers a two-dollar reward for obeying the speed limit, wearing safety belts, having children in protective seats, and using turn signals.
The police of South Windsor had a good idea. The first thing others should expect from us is encouragement. Our friends, family, and fellow workers, will respond best if we not only correct them when they do wrong, but thank them for doing right.
One of the things that have helped me maintain an even ride on the ocean of life is consistency. I have close friends that I can always depend on to be there when I start feeling down or depressed. I either call them, or they always seem to sense something is wrong when they see me.
They then get into their, snap out of it routine, and it works almost every time. They do not criticize, or belittle me, but they also do not have pity for me, or try to give me a warm fuzzy. Sometimes they sit in silence and let me think it through knowing I have them there for comfort. You can always depend on your consistent friends.
3. Knowing What is Important
You probably have heard this story before. I have read it many times, but it is fitting to think of what is important in life, as well as caring for the little things.
An old man, walking the beach at dawn, noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the youth, he asked what he was doing. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun.
“But the beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish,” countered the old man, “How can your effort make a difference?”
The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it safely into the waves. “It makes a difference to this one,” he said.
We often walk past things that could have brightened our day. How about that puppy that ran past you going to the park; the little boy giggling over by the lake; the mother that is hugging her daughter; or the ducklings that are swimming behind their mother?
Take time to look around for all the cool things that are happening. Stop and enjoy the other side of life that is not in the fast lane.
4. Fill people’s lives with humor.
Filling someone’s life with humor can go a long way. Laughter is not a cure-all medicine, but it soothes the soul a great deal.
I came across an article that listed real excuses on insurance reports for why they had an accident.
“A pedestrian hit me and went under my car.”
“The guy was all over the place. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.”
“The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering into the other car.”
“The telephone pole was approaching fast. I was attempting to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end.”
“To avoid hitting the bumper of the car in front, I struck the pedestrian.”
“An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.”
“The pedestrian had no idea which direction to go, so I ran him over.”
AND…… my personal favorite……
“As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.”
This is just one way that humor can really help. Always look on the bright side of everything, and even laugh at it if it is trying to pull you down.
5. Never go to Bed Angry
One of the most devastating things a person can do is to go to bed angry. That not only builds up over time, but it tears you down both mentally and physically.
I have learned that if I had a heated disagreement with a friend; someone at work; or in my own family, I am miserable until I clear it up. It is better for me to walk away; clear my head; and then come back and apologize. This is not an apology for what I believed in the disagreement. (Many people need to agree to disagree.) My apology would be for how I handled it. I should not get angry if I can’t sway someone. I need to state my case, and then listen to their reasoning. If you still do not agree, say so and leave at that. You could argue all day and not sway some people.
Let these five ways be a part of your to do list. Go out and try them.
Encourage some one. You will be amazed how it makes them AND you much happier. Be consistent with your family and friends. They will see that you are a person that they can trust, and confide in. Take a walk with someone else and see what you see. Look for the important things that you would normally not notice. ALWAYS find time to spread humor. It is a great exercise for the face if you cause a smile or laughter. NEVER I said NEVER go to bed angry. It is hazardous to your health.
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