By Joe Vroom

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I’m not done yet. I’m thinking about life, people, the world, what people are doing, what they could be doing. Without getting into a tediously extensive contemplation with which others have filled the libraries of the world and today’s internet, I’m going to pass what I consider to be a few useful tips and quips.

Now, they won’t be presented in a ponderous, dreary style but in a snappier style. One that comes from city streets, highways, rivers, oceans, forests, farms, factories, truck stops, animals, women, children, and tiny, sparkling swimming holes glistening in the sun.

Here they are:

Keep your eyes and ears open. Be alert. Be aware. Enjoy your work and understand its purpose. Don’t overdo it. Not everything has to be earned. Remember that. The world is freely given. Respect it. Stay smart. Stay sharp. Take it easy. Know when to do things and when to back off. Choose wisely. Scrutinize things carefully. Learn the gentle art of holding on and letting go. Smarten up if you’re not as sharp as you could be. Don’t get stuck in a rut. Pigs don’t fly. Rest when you’re tired. Get moving when you’re not. Breathe easy. Feel the sunshine on your neck and be smart enough to take the time to feel it. Feel the breezes through your hair and across your face. They will stimulate and revive you. As will soft rain running down your skin. Don’t be stupid. Ever. It bears repeating because there’s no excuse for it. Or a need. Beware anger. If you can avoid using it with whatever means available, find them and apply them. Seek education, understanding, and enlightenment instead. Anger comes from fear, frustration, and outrage from crimes committed against what you hold dear to your heart. If you’re going to use it, use it as a necessary defense rather than an instrument of hate. Be strong in love, and be clear about what you love, and why. Don’t be obsessed with money. It can make you sick or crazy, or both, if you go too far with it, and it can create demands which are unsustainable and ridiculous in the efforts that make them so. Learn the difference between enough, not enough, and too much. Economies and cultures have sunk and flourished because of the knowledge, or ignorance, of this difference. Let natural forces and the motivations they create be your guides. They will tell you if you need to build a house or if you don’t. Or if you need a better tool with which to build it. Or if it needs a particular kind of paint to make it more aesthetically appealing. Fishing costs nothing, and a walk by a river can set you free.