Aunt Norie’s Sewing Room
Graduations make me wish that I was rich. If I had a huge fortune to tap into, I'd see to it that every graduate was given two books: one would be the Bible; the other would be a little volume by H. Jackson Brown Jr., called "Life's Little Instruction Book."
The latter book was written by a father for his son who was heading off to college. It was meant to be a "road map" of how to have a fulfilling life. The 511 statements in the book cover the whole range of life. Some are very practical: overtip breakfast waitresses; lend only those books you never care to see again. Other suggestions are philosophical: Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, "Gee, if only I'd spent more time at the office." Don't be called out on strikes, go down swinging. Wear out, don't rust out.
I couldn't help but add a few of my own suggestions:
Pray a little each day, especially when you wake up and go to bed.
Be generous in offering hospitality to others.
Make time for friends.
Watch less TV.
Don't procrastinate. (I'm still working a lot on this one.)
Walk more, drive less.
Imagine that today is the last day of your life. Make a list of things you'd like to do. Pick one of them and do it today.
Read at least a book a month.
As an unusual and totally unique graduation gift, maybe parents, friends and relatives can sit down and compile their own lists to give to graduates about how to find happiness in life. Not only would a gift like this be valuable and practical, it would outlast any material gift I can think of.
The Rev. Mark Goldasich is pastor at Tonganoxie's Sacred Heart Catholic Church.