Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles 5-27-13

Known locally as the Sisters’ Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital also ran a Benedictine Catholic-run nursing school in Hot Springs, S.D., beginning in 1905. The photo shows part of a graduating class, year unknown.

Graduation season brings out the cards and columns of advice for graduates yet they apply to everyone. I have spent the past few days thinking of things that I have found to be important, things that just make the days go better. Perhaps some of these thoughts will be meaningful to you.

Spelling matters. Its, think his and hers; none of these need an apostrophe. A smile is the most noticed accessory you can wear. Everyone is equal in importance. Talk with and learn from old people. Avoid narcissists. When a word you do not know comes up look it up, learn the word and use it. Help your neighbors without expecting payment. Get up early enough to watch the sunrise.

Look people in the eye when conversing. Change your windshield wipers. Do not expect praise for doing your job. Be loyal to the company that writes your check; if you speak badly of an employer or company to others, you need to change jobs. Eat breakfast. Check your tire pressure.

If you are not five minutes early, consider yourself late. Appreciate breathing. Too much of a good thing at one time is bad — even sunshine. Actions show your character best when no one is looking. Consider the turtle; he sticks his head out when necessary. Read. Read. Read. Read.

Keep your gas tank at least half-full; it costs the same to add 10 dollars’ worth of gas at that time instead of running on fumes. You will save yourself much hassle by doing so. Keep your shoes polished; well maintained and polished shoes tells the world you pay attention to detail and have pride in your appearance.

Animals are not people. Be kind. Sleep is not overrated. Volunteer; it will make you a better person. New socks bring joy to the wearer. Clean up after yourself. Pay cash; if you do not have the money to buy something right now, you cannot afford it. Cheap credit quickly becomes very expensive; ignore credit card offers. Learn to make one good soup. Practice a firm handshake; it shows your self-confidence.

Pull ahead to the empty space in front of you in a parking lot, then you can drive forward when you leave and will not have to back out; most parking lot accidents happened during backing. Those painted lines are not concrete barriers. Call your parents even when you do not want anything. Write to your grandparents at least once a month. Walk instead of driving any time you can. Do not lend your car; the insurance likely only covers you as a driver. Your word is your bond; your reputation depends on that.

Learn to have meaningful, verbal talks; texting does not allow for genuine feelings. Leave your cell phone in the car when you go for interviews. Before your first job interview, learn what you can about the company and ask someone older than you what attire would be appropriate. Any job could be the entry steppingstone to a career.

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