“My religion is very simple.

My religion is kindness.”

Dalai Lama


Not long ago I was waiting for a traffic light to change when I noticed the bumper sticker on the car ahead of me. It read, “WAG MORE, BARK LESS.” The advice was worth, at the very least, a grin. But now that I think about it, what we’re really talking about here is a profound bit of wisdom as old as time.

Let me show you what I mean. Hand me that bible. Thank you. Here in the book of Proverbs, we’re told, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Once upon a time my daughter was a student at The Columbus College Of Art And Design. At one of the galleries I noticed a large poster that had printed in very large letters, “IF YOU WANT TO GET SOMEONE’S ATTENTION, whisper.” That’s right, big letters and big words all except whisper.

This was a clever paraphrase of that passage I showed you from the Bible.

I will admit that there may be times when barking is appropriate. When I took my physical exam way back in the day to enter the Marines, I had a hearing problem in my left ear. After consulting a guidebook and a short conference, doctors decided I was good to go. After all, hearing what the drill Instructors had to say shouldn’t be a problem. They tend to yell a lot at boot camp.

Not many human beings that I know actually have a tale they can wag. However, most people do have a mouth and can easily shape it into a smile. Let that be your wag. Instead of getting loud and crazy about the vicissitudes of life, smile. And, as a wise man once said, “If you see someone without a smile, then give them one of yours.” And who in their right mind is going to argue with Mother Teresa who said, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

Instead of barking, another option is laughter. Hand me that Bible one more time, please and thank you. This time the book of Proverbs tells us, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” So don’t be afraid to share a good joke with your friends. And even if you end up being the only one laughing at your joke, you’ve still made at least one person happy.

Okay, we’ve been talking about wagging our tail and being kind to all the folks we share the path with. Now we need to talk about being kind to the person looking back at us when we peer into the mirror. I like what fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg had to say on the subject, “You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.”

Be kind to yourself. Bark less at your mistakes today and wag your way to a better day tomorrow.