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by Abigail Van Buren

Wise Words to Live by Provide Food for Thought

DEAR ABBY: I recently received the enclosed creed and enjoyed it very much. I thought perhaps you and your readers would be inspired by it, too. -- MRS. N.J.S. IN WESTERN SPRINGS, ILL.

DEAR MRS. S.: Thank you for sharing it. I can see why it inspired you, and I'm sure it will make many other people stop and think. Read on:


Don't underestimate your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don't set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

Don't take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Don't let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you will live all the days of your life.

Don't give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Don't shut love out of your life by saying it's impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give love; the fastest way to lose love is to hold to it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.

Don't dismiss your dreams; to be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose.

Don't run through life so fast that you forget not only where you've been, but also where you're going.

Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each and every step of the way.

DEAR ABBY: I can't top the letter from the lady in the body cast who was receiving obscene telephone calls, but I do have a tale about weird phone calls.

In 1967, I was hired as a claims examiner at the unemployment insurance office in my hometown. Since ours was the only listing in the phone directory under our unusual last name, I was advised to have our home number changed and unlisted. Unfortunately, I procrastinated. Then I began getting evening calls from men asking for a half-dozen or so girls by name. ("Candy" was the most popular.) They usually hung up if my husband answered -- and he finally began to look askance at me!

One morning before I left for work, I received a call from a collection agent demanding payment on a long overdue bill. Armed with a first and last name, I grabbed the phone book and found our number listed to that woman's name. Her address? Smack dab in the middle of our city's red light district! Quick action by the telephone company saved our marriage; we're still together after 41 years.

Please don't reveal my location or name. Just ... CALL ME 'MADAM'

DEAR 'MADAM': Bravo! And "Candy is dandy" -- and probably long "retired." Your letter is a compelling lesson to those who procrastinate.

Abby shares her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "Abby's More Favorite Recipes." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 per booklet ($4.50 each in Canada) to: Dear Abby Booklets, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)

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