How to be loved This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 1, 2013
Smile often, loosen shoulders and let arms swing freely.

Alternatively, if these are not available,

drink black coffee and try not to talk too much.

Read plenty of Gandhi. Dali Lama, Carl Sagan,
and the New Testament are also suggested.

Substitutes, if prior materials are missing

or on back order, include political cartoons,

conservative website comment threads, and cereal boxes.

You may become aware of others who are learning,
as you are, what it takes and how to be loved. If possible,
compare notes and learn from them. Potential allies include
dentists, tech support specialists, and children.

You may, instead, if you like, refer to any cats you may own,

as they are skilled recipients of providential love.

Keep a small bird, some feed, a perch
(with plenty of newspapers), an armchair, and a pair of scissors.
Let your bird fly, or not fly, throughout your house. Observe
how natural it is, from your armchair.

If you ever wish to know what it is like

to not be loved, get the scissors,

and take away its ability to fly.

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