The Frenchman said success lies in his slogan

What we need to go with temperatures in the teens and inches of powder snow is a mountain with groomed ski slopes. A lodge at the bottom of the lift, with a great stone fireplace in the reception hall and a roaring blaze fueled with hickory logs would be nice, too.
Then, after dusk had made the bumps deceptive, we could pull our chairs up to enjoy the warmth — that unspeakably sweet luxury — and talk about exciting ideas for redoing the world.
Maybe not the whole world; not all at once. We could start — even without the mountain or the lodge or flames licking hickory — right here in Allen County and build.
Redoing collections of people, which is really the essence of Allen County, is best done one at a time.
Emile Coue, a French psychologist and pharmacist, had the right idea a century or so ago.
“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better,” he taught people to say and believe. Made quite a splash throughout the Western world, America included. Self-hypnosis, self-delusion? Maybe. But the basic idea was sound, which is why the fad blossomed and grew.
How deep Coue’s understanding of what he was preaching was, the one-volume encyclopedia doesn’t say.
Reciting slogans (or dogma) doesn’t make a difference — to a person, a county or a country. Putting a slogan or a resolution to work, can.
So jump from Coue (pronounced coo-a) to most any of today’s ubiquitous self-help gurus, who get rich — or richer — by telling people how to redo themselves. No need to shell out $100 or more to go to a seminar in the city. Just get out a pen and pad and do the fixing all by yourself. Nobody knows you better than you do.
Write your own prescription. Here’s mine, for me:
— Learn systematically. This year I will focus on ethics and what historian Susan Neiman calls the moral sensibility of the body politic.
— Do nice things for other people. Deliberately. Often.
— Read opinion writers who disagree with me. Deliberately. Often. Ignore the yearning to dismiss their arguments and strive to understand their points of view. Always assume another man’s motives are at least as pure as your own.
— Schedule weight-bearing exercise. Follow the schedule.
— Write more letters. Keep up with family and friends diligently.
— Learn more about gardening. Practice what you learn.
— When events or an event causes me to feel contempt or even hatred for a person or a group of people, I will consider the reaction a disease and resolve to cure it. Work very hard to disagree without being disagreeable.
— Learn what Iola and Allen County merchants and professionals have to sell by way of goods and services and resolve to patronize them rather than buying from a catalog or traveling to another city to make a purchase.
— Volunteer to work with or contribute to organizations such as Thrive Allen County and the community’s service clubs and special purpose organizations such as Hope Unlimited and the Food Pantry, all of which make Allen County a better place.
— Give political support to local, state and national office holders and office seekers pledged to balance the budgets they oversee by creating the tax structure needed to match income with spending while providing the basic needs of our society: universal health care; super-ior public schools and universities; public safety and national security; a healthful environment; a well-maintained system of state and national parks, recreation centers and monuments; and law enforcement dedicated to equal justice for all.

WILL I DO all these good things? Probably not. Even if I and everyone else did what we know we should do to make ourselves better — every day, in every way, as Coue urged us to do 150 years ago — it still would not make the world a perfect place. But all those folks — you and I included — on board the Coue express would be happier, more useful people. And that’s a good enough reason to buy a ticket and take the trip.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.