In addition to saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning in school, which apparently they don’t do now because a couple of atheists in MA decided two words forced religion & prayer on their children (another topic for later), I wish they would have had us recite a life mantra. It should have gone something like this:
I solemnly swear to brush my teeth each and every morning and night-unless I have a few too many and pass out in my makeup and bra, in which case I will brush extra hard the following morning followed by floss and mouthwash. I also promise that I will bathe regularly and moisturize as often as possible-especially my neck and elbows. I will wear sunscreen always-even if it’s just a long walk and even if being tan is the “in thing” and being pale is social suicide because years later I’ll still be cherub-like while everyone else is trying to rectify their personal breed of Golum. I state loud and clear that I will do my absolute best to keep my facial expressions to a skin scrunching minimum so that I will never have to contemplate unnatural methods of stretching my skin back to its proper place. This is obviously contingent on the number of certified hotdogs I encounter along the way, in which case I cannot be held accountable for my facial contortions.
May my cup overflow with water…an insane amount of water. May I expend my energy on love regardless of class, race, gender, sexuality, religion, politics, popularity, neighborhood, school, or occupation…always love. May I make room for others in my heart and expel any resentment, hatred, or anger I have with others as well as myself through fine arts, exercise, or piñatas. May I make good use of the majority of my time which sadly, but honestly, does not include Pinterest, video games, reality television, Facebook stalking, candy crush or binge watching Netflix. May I also make wise financial choices so that I don’t end up like M.C. Hammer or Chrysler or in my parents’ basement knowing that if the latter does occur it is not permanent nor will I be complacent.
I will do my best to eat, drink, and work out like an Olympian allowing cheat days including, but not limited to, all national holidays, my birthday, my friend’s birthdays, the 3rd Friday of every month, national grilled cheese day, any day that is associated with a BBQ, and any day after an abundance of alcohol consumption has occurred. Other than that, my body is my temple and I shall feed and treat it as if it were my most prized possession as it is the only vessel I have in this lifetime.
I promise to make good choices knowing I will enevitably make bad ones as well…and that’s okay as long as I learn from my mistakes and embrace the lesson. I promise to take my education as seriously as I take my happy hours. I promise to formulate opinions for myself through well-informed research, personal experience, and civil conversation rather than letting the compromised media dictate my mind, beliefs, and truth. I know that because I believe something doesn’t make it true. I promise to to understand the value of hard work and earning a paycheck. I promise I won’t be perfect nor will I expect or falsely believe anyone else to be. I promise to be kind. I promise that I’ll be gracious…even to the people who give out the orange and black wrappered candies or toothbrushes on Halloween.
I solemnly swear I will give my all in everything that I do, including relationships, because it is a representation of who I am as well as my ethics. I understand that doing something half-assed is a waste of everyone’s time, most importantly my own. I understand that nothing is forever and goodbyes are as inevitable as they are difficult. I understand that change begins with me and that if I’m a part of a crowd, I better know damn well why I’m there. I understand that there will be disagreement and hardships in this life but I also know there is compromise, empathy, and strength. I will LIVE under these oaths. I will be victorious.
…Or something like that.
Another great writing by Jenny Kodros. I find myself laughing out loud and then smiling while I read your article. Makes my day when I read these. Keep the good work going.