Austin Kleon turned me on to Ron Padgett’s poems. This is from a long one, “How To Be Perfect,” which you can read in full here. Some of it is silly, some of it is profound–“Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.”
Excerpts from “How to be Perfect” by Ron Padgett
Get some sleep.
Don’t give advice.
Take care of your teeth and gums.
Be friendly. It will help make you happy.
Hope for everything. Expect nothing.
Take care of things close to home first. Straighten up your room
before you save the world. Then save the world.
Be nice to people before they have a chance to behave badly.
Don’t stay angry about anything for more than a week, but don’t
forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm’s length
and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass
Wear comfortable shoes.
Do not spend too much time with large groups of people.
Plan your day so you never have to rush.
Show your appreciation to people who do things for you, even if
you have paid them, even if they do favors you don’t want.
After dinner, wash the dishes.