Ethel’s Eleventh

Ten commandments on life, plus one by Ethel . . .

     I’m no expert on Life, but after we live a while, we find that whatever our life is, it has been of our own making. And that if we don’t like what our life is, that we, and no one else, can change it.  We define the events that come to us, or those events will define us. Shiver, shiver, shiver.

      1. Take time to work.   Each day you have 24 hours to use, two hands that need something to do, and ‘work’ is the answer to each. We all need the satisfaction of a job well done, and ever since Eleanor Roosevelt set the example, even every First Lady has done volunteer work. And our tired bodies sleep better at night, knowing “Today I saw a need and tried to help.”


       2. Take time to play.   It is the secret of youth and while youth in years cannot remain, youth in spirit is ageless. The old, familiar words still ring true. “There are ‘old’ young people, and there are ‘young’ old people.” Take your pick.


         3. Take time to read. The wisdom and humor of people from all ages and climes are in books, free of charge, on any library shelf. Oh, read, read, take time to read, for a life’s pathway without books can be sterile and empty. What a difference a book makes.


     4. Take time to think. The Mind is a Power source and the power I speak of is the power to master and control our own lives. Milton knew all about that back in 1666, when he said: ‘The Mind can make a Heaven of Hell, or a Hell of Heaven”.


       5. Take time to worship. The pathway to inner joy, doesn’t mean just sitting bored on some church bench, although it can happen there. It can happen any place and no matter what task you are doing, take time to remember that Adam, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, et al, had no fancy clothes or buildings for worship. In times of labor, play, relaxing, or in a crowd, no one will know what your mind is doing. Worship.


         6. Take time to make friends. There is no life as barren as one so full of busy-ness that no time is found for friendship. Lover, spouse and ‘significant’ other, often come and go, but friends are friends before, during and after such changes. Make friends and don’t let them get lost. Ever.


         7. Take time to love. It is the most sacred sacrament life can offer, and if you limit your love life to the sexual aspect, you’re missing a lot. There are so many other kind of love, all the way up to Agape, and marriages flounder unless young love develops and reaches into deeper realms. Marriage without sex would be boring, but marriage for sex only is doomed from the start.


           8. Take time to laugh. It is Balm of Gilead for life’s burdens. A great big hearty laugh that rocks the room is so healing it relaxes places you didn’t know were tense.


           9. Take time to dream.   Dreams lift you to the stars, and don’t ever apologize for your dreams. because every accomplishment on earth, from going to the moon, to writing a sonnet, began with ‘just a dream’. Ah, yes, take time to dream.


             10. Take time to plan. It is the secret seed for all the rest. You know the adage, one found on many a refrigerator door, or bathroom mirror, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”


         11. Turn Off the D___ TV. It’s hypnotic with unending fake laughter, people giggling and trying to persuade you to buy something, or discussing subjects they no nothing about. Foolishness by the hour, obviously doing anything just to fill those 24 hours a day, day after day, and ends up with at least 22 hours of pure trash that no one wants or needs.   Turn it Off and find out what YOU think. And don’t let your kids grow up thinking TV is the answer to all life’s questions.


       Yes. all are good, and some are easy and some aren’t, and the ones that will be ‘a piece of cake’ for you , will probably be the ones that broke my back. And while they might not make a new person of you, they’ll make the most of the kind of person you already are. Be happy. And isn’t it great that the choice can be ours? Especially that curse of today that can be cured quickly by simply pressing one button. The OFF one to Television. It’s all our choice.



4 thoughts on “Ethel’s Eleventh

  1. I like your list, esp turning off the damn TV.
    I also like the way they catagorize: work, play, read, think, these are for you/me. Worship, love, friends, laugh, are for others. Many have commented on taking time for yourself, to be comfortable in you own skin, to be comfortable while being alone. Many people have difficulty being alone from guilt, loneliness, or shame. I like the idea that farmers, who I believe have the greatest faith, can be alone for hours and even days. Solitude doesn’t bother them during this time: planning, dreaming and even love can happen alone.
    Laughing is so valuable as to be the answer to much stress, loneliness, unhappiness, oiled water and so on.
    Bottom line: turning off the tv. What a lark. The first four items can be influenced by the voice in the sky. If you remember ” Fahrenheit 451″, the forever on TV wall interfaced with the populace to keep them from thinking/reading. Even now in the real world the TV has the same effect on my grandkids, whose mind goes into neutral when they watch TV?
    I like this eleventh commandment most.

    • JIM your analysis of the list is great. I have a daily list of to-do’s and they divide as you say: what I put into my mind and body, and another list of What I DO with this body. Like your thoughts. love from E.

  2. Take time to plan, good one Ethel. Around here I like to ask the kids “What is your One Year plan???” Usually I get a blank stare, but some start to get it and I can see them think. Then I hit them with the “What is your 5 year plan?”” The doers get it, or the ones who have parents who teach them the value of it/.

    Heck the saddest answer to “What is your One Week plan, is “watch such and such on TV” Guess which ones will be our future leaders and which ones will be complaining they deserve to be kept.


    • Hi to you Rudi and how glad I am to think you’ve found my blog. You are so welcome with your ideas for they are great. Love a, Ethel

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