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Contributed by Jim Nelson, consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~

Rules for being human handed down from ancient Sanskrit

  1. You will receive a body.
  2. You will learn lessons.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
  4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned.
  5. Learning lessons does not end.
  6. “There” is no better than “Here.”
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you.
  9. The answers lie inside you.
  10. Your answers lie inside you.
  11. You will forget all of this.
  12. You can remember it whenever you want.

Please read the Sanskrit list. Think about it for a minute, and then read it again. Much of the list ties very nicely with the stuff that my wife, Mary, and I have been talking about for years!

This list would have been written sometime around 1500 BC. It contains a lot of wisdom…

You cannot dispute the first two rules … You did receive a body. It may not have been the body that you wanted, but we apparently have little choice in the matter. Just take care of whatever is left of it. And, you will certainly learn lessons! Some of them are easily learned and remembered. Others, not so much …

I like Number 3. If my mistakes are really lessons, I have been offered a lot of opportunities to learn. When I was working on the basement last year, I made more than a few mistakes. I did in fact learn from them!

“A lesson will be repeated until it is learned.” Again, I reference my basement. I didn’t repeat too many of my “lessons,” but if I ignored the message the first time, the universe would surely remind me.

If you are not still learning lessons, you are simply not paying attention. Or you are in a coma.

I can take exception to Number 6. Of course, it really depends on the definition of “there.” If “there” is some manner of religious paradise or the living room of Bill Gates, then it just may be better than here. Mary and I have had a deal for as long as we can remember. If we ever envy someone else for their looks or their possessions, we have to also step into the rest of their life, mothers-in-law and warts and all … Neither of us have yet found anyone with whom we would totally trade places.

Others are indeed mirrors of you! A smile will generally be rewarded by one in return. A surly attitude or general grumpiness will also be returned in kind.

Numbers 8, 9, and 10 merely affirm that you have within your being the ability to control your life. Outside influences certainly have an effect, but you always have control over your feelings toward your situation.

You will likely forget some of this, but I hope that you will take some of it to heart and use these principals to help you to maintain a positive attitude toward the lessons that we all must learn.

As you likely know by now, Mary and I have learned a lot of lessons in our years. Septic shock, “female” problems leading to a hysterectomy, osteoporosis, broken hip, severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), double lung transplant with the resultant compromised immune system, prostate cancer, partial loss of vision, another broken hip, broken ribs, a mysterious blood disorder and skin cancer. We have each been a caregiver for the other when necessary. Point is, we have done it all with generally positive attitudes. It is an effort at times, but it makes everything so much more bearable.

We sincerely urge you to give it a try.

Love you all,

Uncle Jim

Jim Nelson is a double lung transplant recipient and a patient advocate for COPD patients throughout the U.S. and around the world. He and his wife, Mary, are well known patient advocates and brand ambassadors for those organizations who tirelessly endeavor to help those individuals who suffer from a variety of respiratory diseases and the caregivers who support them.

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