LETTER: Life's lessons

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By Elroy Riggs

My daughter-in-law gave me a diary for a birthday gift and asked me to write some of my life's lessons in it for my grandchildren. Every once in a while, life gives you a very special moment, so overwhelming you almost glow. I had just experienced one. These are a few do's - don'ts that come to mind ...
Say thank you a lot.
Plant a garden every spring.
Live beneath your means.
Be forgiving of others.
Be a student in some kind of class.
Make new friends, but cherish the old ones.
Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.
Show respect for teachers.
Show respect for policemen and firefighters.
Buy vegetables from truck farmers with hand-written signs.
Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for your life.
Remember that all news is biased.
Let people pull in front of you in traffic.
Hug your children after you discipline them.
Have your children pay for half their college tuition.
Have your children to pay all their car insurance.
Take your children to church. Don't send them. If it's not important to you, it won't be to them.
You don't have to fight to be a man.
Never argue with a policeman or judge. You won't win.
Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.
Introduce yourself to the manager of your bank. It's important he or she knows you.
Learn the capitals of the states.
Keep your watch five minutes fast.
Learn to speak Spanish.
Never deprive someone of hope. It may be all they have.
When starting out, don't worry about not having enough money. Limited funds are a blessing, not a curse.
Pay your bills on time.
Turn off the television at dinnertime.
Learn how to handle a rifle/pistol safely.
Never ask an accountant or lawyer for business advice. They are trained to find problems, not solve them.
Fly Old Glory on the Fourth of July.
Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Pray not for things, but wisdom and courage.
Be tough minded, but tender hearted.
Have medical and dental check-ups regularly.
Don't waste time responding to your critics.
Avoid negative people.
Money can't buy back your youth when you're old, a friend when you're lonely or a love that's grown cold.
Never give up on what you really want to do.
Encourage your children to have a part-time job after the age of 16.
Always read the small print. Remember the large print giveth and the small print taketh away.
Never take action when you're angry.
Be your husband or wife's best friend.
Wear out. Don't rust out.
Never criticize the person who signs your paycheck. If you're unhappy with your job, resign.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.
Never go grocery shopping when you're hungry.
Praise in public; criticize in private.
Never pay for work before it's completed.
Watch the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" every Christmas.
Own a dog.
Elroy Riggs