Paper People

“Try not. Do… or do not. There is no ‘try’.” – Yoda

Resolve to recognize propaganda when you see it, whether it’s political, religious, commercial or good old family brainwashing.

Resolve to fend for yourself and let others do the same as much as possible. More people have been harmed by well-intentioned “help” than by being left to their own devices.

Resolve to stop letting people suck the life out of you. They probably don’t even know they’re doing it, so it’s your choice whether to go on feeding them or cut off the supply.

Resolve to take care of your own problems without resorting to lawyers, guns, consultants or unnecessary drama.

Resolve to do something good occasionally without expecting to get credit for it.

Resolve to stop picking out all your physical flaws and work on accepting yourself the way you are. If you’re overly concerned about a crooked nose or a little paunch around the middle, you’re probably using that to distract you from your other problems.

Resolve to listen to what your friends aren’t saying when they decline to comment on your choice of significant other or spouse.

Resolve to notice that there are other people on the road or in the checkout line besides you, and that they also have important places to go.

Resolve to stop buying into every new drug or diet. Remember, doctors and hospitals may have started out as well-intentioned altruists but in real life they operate on money just like you do.

Resolve to be honest when people ask for it. If it turns out that wasn’t really what they wanted, don’t worry – they’ll learn not to ask if they don’t want to know.

Resolve to reduce, reuse and recycle. Don’t heat up the entire oven to warm up a piece of bread. Wear those shoes another year. Donate that food your cat hates to your local animal shelter.

Resolve to turn off the TV once in awhile. Life will not come to a screeching halt if you miss the 137th repeat showing of that Friends episode, I promise you.

Resolve to learn something new whenever possible. That old adage was wrong: curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Stupidity and ignorance about the consequences of its actions killed the cat.

Copyright 2005 by Frasier MacKenzie. Republished 2013, 2014.

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