The R. L. Cox Way
My grandfather, R. L. Cox, was a wonderful man who led a full and happy life. I always thought that part of his success was that to him life’s instructions were simple. While not all of his stories had morals, I believe that most of what he had to say about life can be summarized in three fairly simple, well known, and direct pieces of advice.
The first piece of advice is embodied in a poem entitled “Preparedness” that was written by Charles Edwin Markham in the 1890's.
In all thy days prepare,
and treat them all alike.
When you’re the anvil bear.
When you’re the hammer strike.
His second piece of advice is seductively simple and absolutely complete,
Before you do something, think about it.
His third piece of advice was usually unnecessary, unless you disregarded his previous two suggestions,
It never hurts and it’s never too late to say you’re sorry.
With very little effort, I believe it would be possible for me to trace the vast majority of the unhappiness and misfortune that I have experienced in my entire life to a failure to abide by one or more of these three recommendations.
Knowing the rules doesn’t make life any easier or more understandable, but it at least you have fair notice of what to expect.