By Joe Rector

We’re already well into the new year, but some folks haven’t yet declared resolutions for the coming months. Sometimes these individuals work so hard that they fail to get around to setting new personal goals. Other people believe themselves to be perfect and, therefore, see no reason to change. For those without direction for the coming year, I want to be of service; following are some suggestions for self-improvement work. No one needs to thank me for compiling the list because I know how appreciative he or she will be.

First, folks might choose to work on correctly using the pronouns of the English language. As I’ve preached before, the use of “I” after a preposition is a sure sign that a person is deficient in his understanding of the English language. Some might ask, “What is a preposition?” Such words as “for,” “between,” “with,” and “from” are examples of that part of speech. During the use of a prepositional phrase, I can give an easy way to decide when to use “I” or “me.” In the sentence, “The other students can eat after you and I,” determine if the “I” is correct by using it by itself: “The other students can eat after I.” Try another one: “The gifts were for you and I.” Does it sound correct to say, “The gift was for I?” If the answer is “no,” replace “I” with “me.” See how simple choosing and using the correct pronoun can be?

I suggest that some drivers work on their skills. Perhaps some folks who pilot cars along the Interstates will choose to drive a bit closer to the speed limit. The rest of us who share the highway will feel safer if speeders refrain from hitting 90 mph. A few drivers might work on their driving manners. That means they don’t tailgate others who are driving the speed limit; it also might mean they stop zooming down the right lane and then swerving in front of a line of cars in the passing lane.

Here’s another suggestion for a goal. Let’s have people resolve from now on to cover their mouths when they sneeze or cough. I’ve seen plenty of high school students lean back and then sneeze in the classroom. They make no effort to cover the sneeze, and it rockets plenty of yucky stuff into the air. Others cough as if they are ill with distemper. These ill ones rarely cover their mouths, so any terrible things are aimed at the closest individuals. Before long, an entire office or classroom is filled with sick folks. Simple acts can prevent others from being infected.

I watched a commercial on television the other night. A dad and daughter were on a camping trip, and for breakfast, the dad was eating a bowl of cereal. That seemed odd in itself, but what I noticed most was the way the man ate. He held his spoon and shoveled the food into his mouth. Too many people use spoons and forks in a similar way. If I’d tried to “shovel” my food during a meal when I was a child, my mother would have corrected such an action with kick in the pants or smack to the side of my head. Maybe folks could visit YouTube to learn the proper way to hold a fork, spoon, and knife.

These are just a few suggestions for folks who haven’t had time to develop resolutions. They are simple ones to work on and require minimal effort. Not only will individuals feel a sense of accomplishment but others also will appreciate the change in behaviors. As I said earlier, no one needs to thank me for making these recommendations; it’s the least I can do to help others with whom I share this world. I’m here to help.