New Year’s don’ts
Both personal experience and experts of all types tell us that New Year’s resolutions are quickly broken. Still, they’re sometimes worth making because they crystallize our thoughts and clarify what’s important in our lives.
Wasn’t much different more than a century ago, based on these “Don’ts for ’06.” Originally printed in the Grant County Press of Petersburg, W. Va. at New Year’s in 1906, they were clipped out by Morgan Messenger founder S.S. Buzzerd and found in a box of his papers.
Some of these resolutions, like the “few for the ladies,” may seem dated in today’s world, but there’s a kernel of truth in each. We particularly like the very first one. How easy it is for too many people to believe their personal rights are all that matter and that they are the center of the universe.
Don’t forget there are a few other people in the world beside yourself that have some rights here at least.
Don’t forget that you do not know it all, most any one can teach you something.
Don’t be satisfied with your effort of the past year, and rest on your oars, but see if you cannot do even better in the present one.
Don’t forget that it causes a mighty good feeling when you have been the means of aiding an unfortunate neighbor or friend.
Don’t forget that we are not put here to live strictly for ourselves, but are supposed to have a little of the milk of human kindness in us, enabling each in a modest way to make the world brighter.
Don’t forget that the only way to enjoy a little idleness is to earn it by hard work.
Don’t forget that if your neighbor prospers, it will do you more good than harm.
Don’t forget that the envious, selfish people of this life are those with the fewest friends, and poor indeed that man who does not espouse friendship.
Don’t think you are are a born politician, and run around whooping it up for the “other fellow.” When things at home need your time and attention, whoop them up. It pays better in the end.
Don’t think because one may differ with you in politics and have a mind of his own that he is either a fool or a knave.
Don’t get the idea in your head that you want an office. Nine times out of ten you will find it is a delusion and a snare.
Don’t swear off from all your bad habits at one time. Do it gradually. You will find that it works better.
Don’t let a few failures discourage you. If we had nothing but success, we would not appreciate or enjoy it.
Don’t forget it is that which is accomplished by the greatest effort, as a rule, which brings the most enjoyment.
Don’t forget that honest, faithful endeavor will always in the end bring its reward.
Don’t forget that while it is true that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” yet the converse of this makes him much worse.
A few for the ladies —
Don’t think because mother perhaps lived in another generation, her advice is not worthy of your consideration. Know at least that it is prompted by a love unequaled here below.
Don’t forget that she who appears at her best in her home, spreading happiness around her is more attractive to a man than when adorned with all the finery in the world.
Don’t conclude that your lot is of an ornamental character, and for this purpose alone you were placed here.
Don’t judge a man by the clothes he wears, and pick your husband by the cut of his coat. They are liable to wear out.
Don’t decide that he who appears at his best in the ball room would make the most agreeable companion along the more serious walks of life. You may dance later to different music.