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    Suggestions for Living

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | November 5th, 2017

    Suggestions for Living

    Last Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting Suzan-Lori Parks. She was the keynote speaker for the 2017 Celebration of Learning for the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Ms. Parks has been called one of the most compelling and acclaimed playwrights in American drama today. She is the first African-American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. She is a MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient and in 2015 was awarded the prestigious Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts..  On Friday she spoke of her life journey and provided what she called “suggestions for living”. She had several but below I listed my top 10.

    Depending on your age, some of her suggestions may seem obvious, for others it might reaffirm what you already know and for others it might be an opportunity to incorporate some of her ideas to your life. When I think of health, I think about body, mind and soul. These suggestions are surely health advice for the soul and probably the mind.

    1. ENTERTAIN YOUR FAR OUT IDEAS – It is never too late to try something new. If you have an idea, try it. There is never a better time than now.
    2. SMILE AT YOUR FEARS – She mentioned a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt – “You must do the things you think you cannot do”. It is okay to be afraid, but you should not let fear stop you from doing things.
    3. DON’T WORRY ABOUT BEING COOL – We have to learn to be comfortable being ourselves.
    4. PRACTICE LISTENING – It is so important to not only listen to other people, but to listen to ourselves. Meditation is a good place to start.
    5. BE A THEATER OF ONE – When you wake up in the morning, decide what person you want to be and become that person. What does that look like – you define it and become a star.
    6. WHEN IN DOUBT, SAY ‘THANK YOU’ – It is difficult to offend people by saying thank you.
    7. ALWAYS REALIZE THE VALUE OF KINDNESS – This is especially important when you win an award. When you win, it is an opportunity to show kindness.
    8. RMEMBER YOU ARE AN AMBASSADOR OF THE RACE – She then qualified race and stated the human race.
    9. PRACTICE RADICAL INCLUSION – She asked us to open our arms wide and embrace the differences around us. We should be willing to step out of our comfort zone and learn from others whose views and lives might be different from ours.



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