The Bell Creed

  1. Find something to smile about within the first five minutes that you’re awake every morning.
  2. Own a digital camera: you can see the pictures immediately, email them to your friends and make a really cool sign to hang on your front window with all your pets’ pictures and names so the firemen and policemen know who needs to be rescued when there’s an emergency.
  3. Tickle your husband at least once a day.
  4. Tickle your wife even more… at least until she threatens bodily harm.
  5. Always have a good book that you’re in the process of reading.
  6. At least try to finish every book you start.
  7. If you want to go back to school, just do it… no excuses.
  8. Don’t do drugs.
  9. Choose local businesses when you need something done — it builds a stronger community.
  10. If you live in the country, listen to the birds sing and try to identify them. If you live in the city, visit the country often.
  11. Plan every other vacation to visit a place you’ve never been before. If you never take vacations, take a close look at your life and fix what’s wrong with it.
  12. Teach your children how to swim.
  13. Never save anything for a special occasion. If you can’t find something special in every day, take a close look at your life and fix what’s wrong with it.
  14. Respect other people, even if you don’t agree with them.
  15. Find something to smile about when you go to bed at night.
  16. Never own just one pet. It’s bad for both of you.
  17. Don’t put too emphasis on what other people think of you. It’s more important what you think of yourself. If someone has a negative opinion of you, either agree or disagree based on an unbiased assessment of yourself and move on. With billions of people in the world, a few are guaranteed to not like you.
  18. If you disagree with someone’s opinion of you and you know several people who share that opinion, consider the fact that you may be misrepresenting yourself. What one person sees as self-confidence, another may see as pushy. Realize that many personality traits can have an offsetting trait that is equally as good or bad.
  19. Form your own independent opinions about anything and everything. It will make you more observant and increase your awareness of what’s going on around you.
  20. Learn not to follow the crowd.
  21. Never subscribe to the theory that some people are born to lead and others are born to follow. There a little bit of everything in all of us.
  22. Never say you’re too old for anything.
  23. Be passionate about something.
  24. If you must offer opinions of yourself that are less appealing than you would like, express them in the most positive way you can. “I’m not an athletic person” is much better than “I’m a klutz”.
  25. Spend as much time as possible with your children. If you don’t have children, spend time with the children of neighbors and friends. Their parents will appreciate it and both you and the child will have an opportunity for a rewarding experience. If you don’t believe you’re good with children, figure out why not and take time to correct the problem… you have already been where they are and they can benefit from your experience, understanding and compassion.
  26. Always go in peace, do no harm and leave things better than you found them.