A very good friend of mine called early this morning to tell me her mother had died. It was quite sudden as her mom seemed to be in quite good health. What went through my mind are all the stories she's told me about her mom—how she often had to go because she needed to get her desk organized but it just never seemed to happen, how on a visit she was intensely determined to show her daughter that a little elbow grease could get that pesky commode absolutely clean and almost killed herself to make it so, how on a visit she and her grandson got along so very well, without any of that family angst that my friend felt on occasion. I wish my friend and her family much sympathy and also the hope that over the next week they will find and revel in all those wonderful memories of their mom and celebrate her life.
In honor of my friend here is a list from the Dalai Lama called Instructions for Life. Please take it to heart and take a minute to remember those you love. I'm sure many of you have seen this before but it never hurts to remind yourself.
1) Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2) When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3) Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others, and taking Responsibility for all your actions.
4) Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5) Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6) Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7) When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8) Spend time alone everyday.
9) Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10) Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11) Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12) A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13) In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14) Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15) Be gentle with the earth.
16) Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17) Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18) Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19) Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.