Good manners are still important today

What is the best advice you ever received? Think about it.

I have received a lot of good advice in my life, but the very best advice I ever received was from my wise father. He was a farmer/rancher who was born in Indian Territory before Oklahoma statehood. He had seen a lot of changes in his lifetime and knew a lot about a lot of things. He thought ahead of what might happen in certain circumstances. Someone asked him one time in an interview if he had lived all his life near the old homestead. His reply was, “Not yet.” He had a great sense of humor and great sense to go with it. He was a wealth of information and a living history book.

The good advice that Daddy gave me was to keep my nose clean. Perhaps that is a little gross and homespun but I knew what he meant. It simply meant to act nice, use common sense and don’t get involved in others’ affairs. No matter what others do, that I was to do my own thing and mind my own business.

Do you give good advice? I give lots of advice — free advice! And it is worth just about what some people pay for it. They go right ahead and do what they want to do, which is the way it should be.

How can I know what is best for another person? I can’t. We cannot know what another person is going through until and unless we have walked in their shoes. Even then it is not the same. We can empathize with them and know how we might feel, but we have not walked in their moccasins.

Do you take good advice? We all like to listen to what others are saying and suggesting and it’s good to hear all sides of an issue before deciding what one will do, but in the final analysis, we must do what we think is best for ourselves regardless what others think. My decision to return to college to finish my degrees was right on, at the advice of my wonderful doctor. Glad I listened!

I have received lots of good advice in my lifetime. Sometimes I have heeded the advice and wished I hadn’t. Other times I have ignored it and wished I had listened more carefully. We have no one to blame but ourselves for any choices we have made in our life. It does pay to listen and then make an educated decision knowing every angle.

One friend said she never received any advice at all when she was growing up and had to learn everything on her own. That is difficult for me to understand because I was overwhelmed with advice from my grandparents, parents, aunts, sisters, teachers and friends. I still get great advice from all of them and appreciate their input. They have only my best interests at heart. They only want what is best for me and I know it.

When I have a decision to make I call on God. His advice and answer is always, always correct. He knows what is around the corner that I cannot see. He already knows all the details of a problem I need an answer to or solved. Some people say they do not hear from God, but we must ask and wait for the answer to be revealed to us. It may not be in audible form but we know when the right answer comes. God’s timing is perfect — perfect.

Sometimes people can be wrong in their counsel. Several people told me what a mistake it would be for me to marry a man who had a 15-year-old daughter, because of what problems might arise with a teenager. I prayed about it and was guided to take the chance. What a great joy I would have missed if I had listened to those people. My “daughter” has been the joy of my life, and presented me with two wonderful granddaughters. I had to make my own decision, and it was a wise one. I have never been sorry.

It is difficult for young people to listen to what we elders advise because of our vast experiences. We want them to not make the same errors of judgment that we made. But most kids have to learn the hard way just like we did. They learn by doing and undoing just like we did. Next time they possibly will listen to those of us who have traveled that road. Some young people get a little tired of hearing what we did in the “olden days” and can’t see how then applies to now.

An old prayer that comes to mind when I am tempted to give advice to just everyone about just everything is this one I found in my many, many clippings to someday use.

“Dear Lord, you know me better than I know myself, that I am growing old and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject on every occasion.

“Release me from the craving to straighten our everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to share it all, but You know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Amen.”

I have been asked to put a strawberry muffin or bread recipe in my column since strawberries are so plentiful now. Hope you enjoy it.

Strawberry Bread or Muffins

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

11/2 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups strawberries with juice (frozen or fresh)

3 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts

Beat sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla until frothy. Add strawberries and sifted dry ingredients. Stir in nuts. Pour in two or three greased and lined loaf pans or lined cupcake pans.

Bake in 350-degree oven for about one hour for loaves or 20 minutes for cupcakes.

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Goodrich writes a weekly column for the Enid News & Eagle​. Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

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