Today we're going to talk about the "Soup of Life." I'm going to give you some ingredients that can make your soup of life delicious!
Some good spices that you can add to your soup of life are: love, praise, kindness, joy, confidence, generosity, trust, humor and faith. You'd better have a big kettle for all of that; and just think you didn't have to go to the store to buy any of them and they didn't cost you a cent. But boy, will they pay off big dividends.
Now let's concentrate on some of the herbs you have to keep out at all costs. These are bitter herbs that don't add good things to our lives. These are the herbs of bitterness: hatred, pain, stupidity, fear, criticism, ugly thoughts and deeds, gossip, uncleanliness in both thoughts and personal habits, sloppiness, irresponsibility, etc.
The first group are positive ingredients and the second group are negative ingredients. The first group will bring you blessings - all for free. The second group are very costly. They will cost the loss of all the positive ingredients.
With the first group, you will enjoy your soup and share it with others. Soup made from the second group will have to be thrown out immediately. Now who in his right mind would choose bitter instead of better? Hatred instead of love? But here's the good news, we have choice. Examine and evaluate all these ingredients. Choose to embrace all the positives and eliminate all the negatives.
I said to a friend of mine recently that I'm in a dilemma. One of the ingredients that makes us live longer is a positive attitude. I don't want to give up my positive attitude, but I don't want to live to be 90 or 100!
He told me I influence a lot of people and they need me. They like my humor. Here's one for you: Don't jump to conclusions, you might break a leg or a marriage.
Let's get back to my soup of life. I have more thoughts about that. Let's try some new recipes. On the second day, I'm going to add more praise and courage to my soup and make sure there are no bitter herbs like envy and jealousy. If you have those on your spice rack, throw them out.
On the third day, I added even more courage and humor. It's time for a big dose of faith (not only in my soup but in myself). So I must be sure to keep fear and doubts out of my soup. And I must make sure to leave gossip out of my soup.
On the fourth day, I'm noticing I can add more love, kindness, gentleness, patience, generosity, confidence and good attitudes; but I'm noticing that I have to be very careful not to let things like greed, pride, sarcasm, criticism, deceitfulness, laziness, dissatisfaction (always wanting more), thoughtlessness or causing pain to my soup.
Well, now that I've given you the idea, each of you can become gourmet soup makers. Be sure to check the flavor of the soup and I challenge you to jump into one person's soup today (at least one) and make that soup tastier. Just think of the impact we can have on our communities.
Speaking of impact, I have a dream. No, I'm not Martin Luther King Jr. and please don't shoot me, but this is the dream. I'd like to see a pilot program for teaching Dunkirk and Fredonia, or even the whole county, a better sense of community. We need a sense of connection and we can help each other out. This dream can become a reality!
Margaret Valone is a Fredonia resident. Send comments on this column to firstname.lastname@example.org