Anonymous Distributor

The book Funny Side Up by Rita Davenport draws on her life experiences, starting with her dirt-poor youth in Tennessee. She credits her success to her ability to dream big dreams when faced with the life of struggle and poverty that her parents knew. Her positive attitude has carried her through plenty of challenges. My favorite chapter is titled “Laugh Your Way to Success (Or, How to Cope with Stress, Guilt, Change, Failure, and Life’s Other Little Blessings).”

Davenport’s book, like her speeches, is punctuated with humor. Her theory is that it is important to develop a sense of humor because it is something that none of us is born with. As proof, she offers this explanation: “I have given birth twice and distinctly remember that neither baby was laughing when he came out. Come to think of it, neither was their mama.”


I stumbled across this personal creed of ‘Daily Dozen Values’ by writer Robert Louis Stevenson (who wrote Treasure Island) many years ago, and I’ve always wanted to share it because it is as true today as it was in 1875 or so, when he wrote it. 1) Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things. 2) Make the best of your circumstances. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears. 3) Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t think that somehow you should be protected from misfortunes that befall others. 4) You can’t please everybody. Don’t let criticism worry you. 5) Don’t let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself. 6) Do the things you enjoy doing, but stay out of debt. 7) Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than the actual ones. 8) Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish bad feelings and grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy. 9) Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about new places. 10) Don’t spend your life brooding over sorrows and mistakes. 11) Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself. 12) Keep busy at something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

What a terrific list! Can you imagine what the world would look like if we all followed such a code?

While I agree with all of Stevenson’s thoughts, I suspect we could all add a thing or two to fit our own needs. And I would encourage you to take some time to do just that in the near future. See if doing so doesn’t help you define your goals and dreams.


A losing football coach felt all the fates were against him. The team hated him, the fans hated him, and even his wife and children were losing confidence in him.

The only one who loved him was his dog. The dog was always glad to see him. The coach told his wife, “A dog is fine, but a man can’t live with just one friend.”

So she bought him a second dog.


Here’s a short story about how our occupations really don’t define who we are. A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. In spite of the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute and yelled to the passengers that they better jump, and he himself bailed out.

Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining.

The doctor grabbed one and said, “I’m a doctor, I save lives, so I must live,” and jumped out.

The lawyer then said, “I’m a lawyer, and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live.” He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.

The priest looked at the little boy and said, “My son, I’ve lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace.”

The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, “Not to worry Father. The smartest man in the world just took off with my back pack.”

Moral: Your job doesn’t always define you, but being a good human being does. Think about it.


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