Friday, November 21, 2008


A friend wrote me and asked:  
You used to have a line in your signature that went something "be polite if it kills you".  What do you think that means?  
"Be pretty if you are, Be witty if you can, But be cheerful if it kills you." It means that you don't need to let your emotional state leak into your demeanor. E.g. this can still be a good-natured, cheerful interaction.
M: Hey, how's it going?
J: Pretty rotten actually. My dad just died and I'm processing it emotionally.
M: Oh, that's too bad!
J: Yeah, well. How are you?
Compare this positive, upbeat worldview with someone who gets all gloomy.
M: Hey, how's it going?
V: Rotten. My life stinks.
M: What's wrong?
V: My boss just called me to come in for some overtime and now I can't find my keys. My life stinks.
M: Um, that's too bad.
It's all about keeping perspective. You know everything's going to be fine in the long run. Do you rule your emotions or let them rule you?
"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

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