Siloam Springs Herald Leader

My words for all Legislator­s to serve everyone by

- Maylon Rice — Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publicatio­ns. He can be reached via email at maylontric­e@yahoo. com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

I will be the first to admit it. Good advice is hard to find. And that advice is often harder to accept.

As we head into the 94th General Assembly, that pell-mell time where 135 of our state’s elected leaders convene in Little Rock to file, discuss and pass new laws for all of us back home, it is also time to give some sage advice to the politician­s.

Now not all will listen. Fewer will even read these words if placed in front of them.

They are individual­s, you know, just like you and me.

The Arkansas General Assembly is a citizen-led Legislatur­e. Yes, its leaders can (and do) come from all walks of life.

As I have not yet seen an indepth roster of both the upper house (state Senate) and the lower chamber (the House of Representa­tives), I can tell you that trained lawyers are not in such high numbers as in years past.

I can tell you there are more women in the Legislatur­e than in recent years — about 31 total of the 135 members. And it was pointed out recently, Arkansas ranks 41st out of the 50 states in women serving in its Legislatur­e.

With all that said, I can tell you the sage advice I have compiled for this session’s solons came from the box flap on a product I have been eating since I was a child.

All this wisdom came from the flaps of the Sun Maid Raisins’ boxes.

And, if I do not mind saying so, it is pretty good advice for those folks about to embark on representi­ng us over the next three months, making laws we all will have to live with.

So here goes some fine and short advice from the bonnetclad Sun Maid Raisin gal.

• Know whether it is time to act or time to wait.

• Good results are worth the time it takes to plan them.

• Just a small kindness can turn a day around.

• If life was a picture puzzle, you are a key piece.

• Folks once thought the sun circles the earth, being flexible.

• Keep your hands open, both to receive and to give.

• Your name is your parent’s gift to you. Live up to it.

* You are more precious than all the stars above.

• A true friend will be honest with you.

• Make an art date and go see a favorite painting.

• Both our buddies and our enemies can teach us about life.

• Someone is relying on you to stay focused today.

• Leave a place cleaner than you found it.

• Even a squirrel knows how to maximize each day.

• In a tight spot, keep it together.

• Use patience — it helps kids learn.

• Take time to encourage a friend today.

• Pick up what you tripped over so no one else does!

• Be smart, be truthful. Be truthful, be happy.

• New friends are like new shoes. Old friends fit better.

• Cooking together adds flavor to any meal.

• Change will come. It is a lifetime guarantee.

• Dazzle the world! Be yourself.

• Don’t give in just to be popular.

Now some will say this column is just a cop-out. That I didn’t really have anything to say, but they are wrong.

Over the next three months, I know from observing the Arkansas General Assembly for 44-plus years, these words will and should mean something to some member nearly every day.

Even if the words came off a children’s sized snack box of raisins.

Let us keep our Legislatur­e and Legislator­s in mind as we observe them this session. They are down there because we sent them down there to work for all the state of Arkansas.

And that is a big job. Keep the faith.

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