Chop Your Own
Firewood And Learn to Juggle:
Advice Im Going to Ignore From The Latest
Edition of Lifes Little Instruction
by Roz Warren
Little Instruction Book, first published in
1991 as a collection of advice from H.
Jackson Brown, Jr. to his college-bound son, has
sold millions of copies, been translated into 35
languages, and inspired calendars, posters,
journals, greeting cards and screensavers.
surprisingly, its a very popular graduation
edition contains plenty of excellent
counsel, like Get a dog and
Check hotel bills carefully for unexpected
charges along with some that are downright
puzzling, like Steer clear of
restaurants that rotate and Never buy
a beige car. (What kind of awful
early encounter with beige cars or rotating
restaurants left Brown with this kind of
one piece of advice Brown gives us is Never
give a loved one a gift that suggests they need
isnt that this little gift book in a
But who am I
to argue with a dude who became a multi-millionaire
by pithily telling other folks what to do?
Ive been telling other people how to live
their lives for decades, and not only has it not
brought me fame and riches, it has earned me a
reputation for being a smart-ass know-it-all.
Ill have no trouble following advice like
Never buy a beige car (I may be a
mild-mannered librarian, but I love my red Toyota.)
there are some words of wisdom here that I plan
Do 100 push-ups every day.
Get up 30 minutes earlier.
Never miss an opportunity to ride a roller
Learn a card trick.
Attend class reunions
Never use profanity.
Remember peoples names.
Learn how to fix a leaky toilet.
Never go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.
Try everything offered by supermarket
Read the Bible cover to cover.
Never eat the last cookie.
When attending meetings, sit in front.
Cut your own firewood.
Learn to juggle.
Dont let anyone see you go back more than
twice for the peeled shrimp.
Of course, I
might be able to whittle this list down a bit,
with some creative off-setting.
Id be up for sitting in the front at
meetings, if I can juggle and make sarcastic
And can I
gossip about people as long as I correctly
remember their names?
I have to
admit that the challenge of doing card tricks on
a roller coaster appeals to me.
Not to mention
attempting to juggle while chopping firewood. (And
- if I survive -- what a fun talent to show off
at the next class reunion!)
On the other
hand, some things are just non-starters. I am, by
nature, a last-cookie-grabber. And after
Ive enjoyed that cookie, Im
going to put the plate it was served on in
the sink with the other dirty dishes and go to
guessing I could manage to rise from my bed 30
minutes early to do 100-push-ups or even fix the
toilet, as long as I could employ plenty of
delightful as it is to dream up these little
scenarios, now youll have to excuse me.
Im off to read the Bible cover to cover
while gobbling peeled shrimp in a rotating
first appeared on www.womensvoicesforchange.org