1. WE have formed the Dogs Number One Detective Agency of Ocracoke Island. You can call me Precious. We sniff out the crime, the homemade bread, and psychotic feline string wranglers.
2. No one told me eighth grade was going to be so hard.
3. I know the rain is pretty. Precious doesn’t pee in the rain.
4. Old Man Howard’s Chicken crossed the road yesterday. I know why.
5. I was behind him.
6. I think the concept of the self is overrated. Know thyself, more like, know thy trashcan.
7. Your hand smells like soap. I’ve smelled soap before. In your TRASHCAN.
8. I’d like to chip in toward getting Hurley an MRI. I’m not sure her brain is plugged in.
9. I admit it. I cannot tell the difference between the doorbell in the insulin commercial and the doorbell on Family Guy.
10. Put me in the car and take me somewhere. Drive me to see the tree near the place where the road has rocks. Or the end of the street would be fine.
- A gentleman always removes his hat inside; even when eating fried fish and drinking ice tea. Your mother should have taught you this.
- Be aware of yourself by exercising an awareness of others. Civility is marked by an ingrained sense of humility. They are indivisible. Civility uses an inside voice, asks more questions, and listens intently. Gentleman are civil and humble.
- Keep a handkerchief or clean tissues accessible.
- Business cards should be simple and elegant. They should include your name and relevant contact information. If insulted and invited to duel with another gentleman, you may exchange cards with the other gentleman’s servant.*
- Duels, affaires d’honneur, should be fought with pistols at no less than 32 paces.
- When a gentleman has been offended, a second must be appointed to settle the further rules of engagement: the time and place of the duel, weapons to be used, and the disposal of your remains.
- A gentleman doesn’t use a technological device during a meal, service of worship, or other public event. This is rude.
- A gentleman doesn’t use the term “fake news” in polite conversation. Gentlemen will do their own research and withhold their public opinions.
- A gentleman doesn’t need to decorate his automobile with bumper stickers to express aspects of his personality. His mere presence should free up the need to use these visual preoccupations.
- A gentleman acknowledges his mother, his wife, and grandmother on Mother’s Day. Even if they are no longer living, an acknowledgement of some form is appropriate and required.
- Tipping is a mark of respect for the work of others. Gentlemen tip.
- Gentlemen always say thank you. A gentleman recognizes the role of gratitude in forming the bonds of western civilization. Without gratitude, society collapses.
- Writing, with pen and paper, matters. Despite the preponderance of electronic devices, the well-timed hand written note means something in times of joy and sorrow.
- Gentlemen look up and around. They appreciate their surroundings.
- Always go the funeral.
- Learn to tell a story and tell it well.
- Give more than you take; spiritually and materially.
- There are words you should remove from your vocabulary. You know what they are. Erase them now.
- A gentleman should give a strong handshake. Handshakes matter.
- If you’re going to shave, do not shave with plastic toys. Use a razor made to last.
*Of the 322 duels fought in Russia between 1894 and 1912, only 15 had a fatal outcome. Fate is on your side. Should you live, remember to thank your opponent, tip your second, and buy a round of vodka for all involved.
1. Discussing the daily (often minute) changes in climate and weather with my neighbors. I do enjoy talking about the abundance or lack of rain.
2. Telling the people who ride golf carts down my street to slow down.
3. Walking into the hardware store and pretending I know what I’m looking for.
4. Imagining inventive ways my dogs might try to kill me.
5. Mailing myself oversize postcards so I receive a postage due notice and personal correspondence through the US Mail. (This enables #1 to occur.)
1. Today is a gift. Today is not tomorrow. Use today to make tomorrow better.
2. Love is a self-generating gift from the Cosmos. We do not create love. Love was created like the universe itself.
3. Humanity cannot destroy what continually wants to be recreated. Love will rear its head; behind barbed wire, in bombed out cities, where families are shattered, and life will not let go.
4. The ability to love others rests in two places: in your heart and in your hands. We make a conscious choice to care about someone or something. Will we act, with our lives, on the choices we’ve made?
5. Anxiety and fear can be turned into the kindling which fuels our desire to serve others instead of crippling our desire to love or neighbors.
#Be Courageous, #Be Kind, and Remember that #You Are Loved
1. Always have extra food on hand. Something, anything to offer a guest a small measure of welcome hospitality. Be prepared to feed as many people as possible.
2. A cup of coffee will go a long way to create the right space in which to listen to how someone’s day went.
3. Her to do list depended on maximizing the least amount of meager resources. Grandma needed others to give her a ride. As such, she knew how to make a to do list and get what mattered most when she had access to a car. She prioritized and made the most of her time and resources.
4. She made friends with all of her neighbors. She taught me race didn’t matter. People were people.
5. It’s OK to ask for help if you don’t know the answer to a question. Find a dictionary or person who might know the answer, if you need to, ask for help.
1. Do you see inherent value in the world around you? When you begin to recognize value in others, you’ve taken the first steps toward being publicly grateful. Acknowledging gratitude changes everything.
2. Commit to communicating gratitude. Be the person who says “thank you” more than once a day. Speak it in person or write it in a note.
3. If you make this commitment others will want to share in what you’re doing. Gratitude is contagious.
4. Healthy habits are formed in healthy environments. If you’re creating at environment of empathy, awareness, and trust, people will want to be part of a culture of gratitude.
5. Gratitude is cost effective. It’s free to say thank you and recognize the value of someones efforts.
1. You are not your problems. We own our mistakes to take responsibility for our future. However, we are not defined by our mistakes.
2. Embrace reality. Look at the ingredients on the back side of the box called life.
3. Correlation is not causation.
4. Responsibility begins with ability. You have the ability to find solutions.
5. Don’t be scared of failure. It’s part of the journey from good, to great, to awesome.