A: Why? Because we’ve created that expectation in the children. It’s time to go back to the days when doing what you’re supposed to do is the expectation. Only those who perform in exceptional fashion should be rewarded. Otherwise, the bar is lowered for everyone, mediocrity garners the same attention as achievement and an entitlement mentality becomes the norm. That’s where the real danger comes in, when we believe we are owed something for nothing.
Q: What can we, as a nation, do about the Kardashians?
A: Ignore them completely. Never utter their name again. Strike it from the lexicon. My dream is that one day the “K-word” will be permanently deleted from our cultural hard drive. If you want positive change in this country, you don’t have to take up arms or contribute to political campaigns. But you do have to renounce celebrity drivel and question everything you are told. Most of all, follow the words of Walt Whitman and “dismiss whatever insults your own soul.”
Q: Can you share some basic nuggets of advice that anyone could use in day-to-day life?
A: Wow, so much comes immediately to mind! Here are a few, plucked from the ether and in random order.
-Make it a daily practice to enjoy solitude. Quiet the mind, be still and listen. This is most essential when you think you’re too busy or overwhelmed to do it.
-Lighten up and laugh — a whole lot. As Anne Lamott says, “Laughter is carbonated holiness.” Humor is sacred and healing.
-Be discriminating. From the folks you allow in your life to the words you speak, maintain high standards. We are the summation of the company we keep, the thoughts and beliefs we hold and the places we dwell.
- Keep your own counsel. Be your authentic self, not the person others want you to be. Imagine if Cary Grant had taken a desk job instead of being an actor.
-Don’t get caught up in things that don’t matter: how you look, how much you weigh, your professional status, your bad childhood/marriage/credit rating/hair, whether or not you have a spouse/partner, what someone said or did to you, how much money is in your account, whether or not someone apologized, etc.
-Focus on what does matter: love, forgiveness, gratitude, kindness, freedom, creativity and serving others.
-When darkness descends and you feel utterly helpless, remember that you’re in control of how you respond to it.
-Look for the beauty in the broken.
-Love animals and read books. Perhaps a quote attributed to John Wesley sums it up: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of “The Cracker Queen — A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life” and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at www.thecrackerqueen.com.