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Applying wisdom and respect to our lives

Today I’m going to pay tribute to a man I admire for his intelligence. He’s no longer with us, but he left behind a book called “My Book of Cliches” by Felix Tyszko. His daughter Mary gave it to me and I’m going to share it with you and give you food for thought. I’ll add commentaries.

“Forsake not the honey for fear of the sting.” To me, the honey is life and the sting is the hurt we sometimes endure, but don’t live in fear. Live life fully.

“Judge me not by my deeds, but by my intentions.”

“When my cup of joy filleth to the brim, someone always jostles my elbow.”

“Finish each day and be done with it.” (You can’t live it over again. Just make the next day better).

“Better 10 times sick than once dead.” (A Jewish proverb).

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (Leave well enough alone).

“The mental causes the physical to happen.” (Decisions lead to actions).

“The average man’s life is a series of woulda, coulda, shoulda.” (Make sure you’re a doer).

“If you can keep your head when everyone else is excited, maybe you don’t understand the situation.”

“It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetops, than with a brawling woman.” (Proverbs 25:24).

“No matter how fast and how far you go, you are where you are.”

“There are some dreams you should follow, there are some dreams you should wake up from.”

“Instead of thinking about how what you do today will make a better tomorrow, think a little about how good today is and enjoy it!” (I like that).

“You can shear a sheep once a year, but you can skin it just once.”

Read this one carefully: “The role of government in the Ameri-can system is to appear to have goals, to claim to have plans, and to create an illusion of effectiveness. Politics is the realm of the illusionist.”

This is only two pages though I have kept a very few out. Now I’ll tell you how I met Felix Tyszko. Whenever he wrote something to the editor I always cut it out because I liked the way he thought. I know some of his sayings are old and I’m familiar with them, but some I had never heard. Just because a saying is old we shouldn’t just disregard it. We need to be reminded to apply wisdom in our lives.

I am hung up on words like “wisdom” and “respect.” To me, the word “respect” is more important than the word “love,” because I could learn to love a person I respect, but I could never love a person I didn’t respect. I could forgive him for his shortcomings (sins) and help him in any way I could, but there are limitations. This is if they are men. I’m closer to women who have changed their lives.

Whether they’re male or female, I respect and love people who had very difficult lives and yet were strong enough to overcome their troubles. The greater the distance they had to go, the more I respect them. After all, if you always had things easy, it’s so much easier to live right. Don’t get me wrong I’m grateful for the good parents we had who taught us to respect ourselves and others, to help people in need and in general gave us a strong social consciousness. But I’m also grateful for the struggles we had economically because I learned to love work.

Work is so rewarding. We were never greedy and didn’t treat money as our god. We learn from our experiences. We learned to be happy without material things. We were satisfied with what we had. Relationships were everything – family, cousins, neighbors, friends. Look for humor in life. Laugh a lot. Make good memories!

I got a letter from the St. Joseph’s Indian School. It was written by an 11-year-old Native American girl. When I read the word “respect” I didn’t even finish the letter. I sat down and wrote her a check. It didn’t matter that I’m not a Catholic or a Native American, but I feel awful and ashamed of the way Native Americans were mistreated and I want to show compassion for them. I want to show them respect.

That’s my word for today.