Life’s Little Instruction Book – an old gift

On my first Father’s Day many years ago, my wife gave me “Life’s Little Instruction Book” compiled by H. Jackson Browne, Jr. I was leafing through it today as it lay on an upstairs table near my computer. Here are few of the 511 pearls of wisdom that can be found therein.

#454 – Show respect for everyone that works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.

#276 – Patronize local merchants even if it costs a little more.

#186 – Be insatiably curious. Ask “why” a lot.

#158 – Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage.

#107 – Smile a lot. It costs nothing and is beyond the price.

#246 – Wave at children on school’s buses.

#426 – Share the credit.

#375 – Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.

#127 – Wear the most audacious of underwear under the most solemn business attire.

#58 – Always accept an outstretched hand.

Many of the above are not among the usual instructions. The first two remind me of what we need to do more of in today’s pandemic. Of course, the more startling one is my favorite about “audacious underwear.”

It reminds me of the a staid company I worked for, where the very dignified manager of a department had an “underwear optional” day for the troops. Going commando was never so much fun.

The last one is hard, but should not be. Why don’t we want to accept help? After 9/11, America’s approval ratings were at its highest. Other countries wanted to help, but we did not accept it very well. That was unwise.

The one I gravitate to the most and often advise is a variation of don’t cede your power to someone else. Take charge of your attitude. You are not offended, if you do not take offense.

11 thoughts on “Life’s Little Instruction Book – an old gift

  1. #454 – “Show respect for everyone that works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job.”
    I’ll go for that one!
    I once encountered a self-promoting video from some ‘business’ person (foul mouthed at that) whose approach seemed to be selling by any means was essential (and buying his video/dvd/book etc). At one part he denigrated the cleaner in a restaurant because that was all they would ever do….at that stage I thought ‘If you sat in a dirty restaurant you’d be the first to whine’…Contemptable character.

  2. the very dignified manager of a department had an “underwear optional” day for the troops

    How could he even tell whether people were wearing underwear or not? Did he used to check?

    Patronize local merchants even if it costs a little more.

    I wonder if Amazon refuses to stock this book.

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