I didn’t know the original author of these (nor apparently did the Washington State PTA in 2010). It is apparently Cherie Carter-Scott, according to the website elephantjournal.com.

These were typed on a piece of paper in a slightly altered form by my mother in 2010. The paper has soot all over it, but I found it when organizing this week and thought I would record it where others can see it and enjoy it (and I won’t lose it).

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant or stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”
  4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is not better than “here.” When “there” has become a “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that will, again, look better than “here.”
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
  10. You will forget all of this.

Now, there are some parts that I think in today’s world need caveats, but what I will say is that apart from the author’s obvious privilege (for example assuming that “there” cannot be better than “here” – obviously has not lived in a place of war/high crime/high poverty) and lack of disabling conditions, the core is true. We are all given a life, a person, and situations to deal with. How we comport ourselves, how we deal with situations, is central to our character. We can sit and complain, or we can do what we can.

Those who “know” me via facebook will know that the last few years have had many sometimes life-threatening health struggles, but I have persevered and this coming year will be my fifth year teaching third graders. I spent five of the last seven days attempting to deal with a migraine without OTC medications, and yesterday was my first day that I didn’t actually sleep for several hours mid-day. Today I am working on organizing art supplies that have piled up and become unusable because I couldn’t find them. Little steps, small gestures, taking advantage of moments that arise — What do we do in our daily lives to make our small sections of the world better?