Checking ourselves and teaching by example

The first thing we want to do is reiterate our goal as I said in my first column. It is this: We’re going to influence enough people in our communities to make a difference in the quality of our lives. We all have to learn to be better listeners. We take it for granted that children should listen to their elders starting with their parents and people in authority, but that’s a two-way street. Older people have to listen to younger people too. We can learn from each other. It’s called communication. We can do it through laughing, too.

Now, our roles in this program will differ through the differences in our ages. Let’s start with the youngsters because the earlier you learn a good habit, the happier you will be. Let’s go back to getting rid of the bad habit of using foul language. Your parents can help by letting you know it won’t be allowed in your house and making sure they themselves don’t use bad language. Then they can tell your teachers this is one of your goals and you’d appreciate some help. Be sure to put this habit of using bad language on the list of habits you’re going to change.

Have you ever noticed children don’t gossip much? It’s a bad habit they learn with age. When you see it starting with your children and you hear the words “Johnny or Mary said…” stop them with the questions “Were you there? Did you see it happen? Would you like it if someone said this about you?” Make them think. It’s a form of meanness to gossip because most gossip is negative and hurtful. On the other hand, laughter comes out of the mouth, too, and that’s helpful for everyone.

Years ago my cousin and friend Ange Luce and I used to call each other between 11 a.m. and noon and laugh together. She was a beautiful person! Then recently I used to call Carolyn Patton every morning and we’d laugh hearty laughs. She too was my cousin and my friend. A couple months ago she moved to Pennsylvania to live with her son and his family. She was only there a few days when she fell and broke her hip. I miss her so much! We traveled a lot together in Italy. She was in her mid-80s and such a good sport! We laughed so much and so hard. Be sure you put this on your list. Have you got a laughing partner yet? You’re missing a lot of pleasure if you don’t.

Did you give some thought to your dress code? Here’s an idea. Pick out a friend your age whom you respect and then pick out an older person who will give you the truth and ask both of them if they will keep you in line if you’re not properly dressed.

I’m going to ask you to evaluate the programs you watch on television. Are they violent? There’s a lot of killing on television, even when it’s the “good” guys killing the “bad” guys, there’s still a lot of violence! You don’t need to watch that. Are some of the shows you watch “sexy” with all the women especially poorly dressed or actually undressed? I find myself turning off a lot of shows. And there is so much killing in the media that people are beginning to think that it’s okay. Don’t harden your hearts. Keep them loving and forgiving. Make your lists and live a good life! It’s your choice!

Before I sign off, I want to bring you up to date. I suppose by now you know we’ve broken up our organization dedicated to influencing tourists to spend their summer vacations in Chautauqua County and their winter vacations down south. We had a lot of drawbacks, and for me, I wasn’t capable of leading the group. It needs a leader who has computer talent and a lot of time.

However, it wasn’t a total loss. Our idea about developing tourism was picked up, and now all the local civic units should join in. I’ll help, and I’ve got information I can hand out.

Other news that kept me busy involved our 70th class reunion. Charlie St. George, Dorothea Janczak and I put it together. There were 10 of us around here and a few friends. We had a great time. I’m sure you will see us when we put our picture in the newspaper. Also, we received a letter from Jo and John Cash from California. I guess we’re a hardy bunch. They look great!

As you read my column this week, I will be at a convention in Rochester. I keep busy and they are all good causes. People generating ideas with other people is always good.

Have a great life. I know I am!