Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We Hold These Truths....

This is for a former student of mine. WG became an RA this year (and I'm proud of her, I might add). So here is some advice (a la Sunscreen) and my own life.
Advice on Life:
(This advice can apply to everyone, in most situations.)

Everybody lies. Some bigger than others, but everybody lies.

That being said, honesty is the best policy, but deliver the truth gently, not with a jackhammer.

Love and lust are different. One is emotion, while the other is a physical desire. You are not in love if all you want is physical.

Gut feelings are usually correct. Follow your instincts.

Life isn't always fair. Get over it. If the rock rolls down the hill when you push it, Sisyphus, design a better system.

Don't compare yourself to others. That always leads to disappointment.

The old adage is true: Measure twice, cut once. Now apply it to opinions: Think twice, speak once. Think about what the person said, think about what you really want to say, then speak.

You cannot change people. You can change opinions, and you can maybe change outlooks, but you cannot change a person's core.

Sleep. Everything looks and feels better after you sleep.

Friendships are like blossoms of trees or flowers. Some stay through sunshine and rain, while others fall away. Don't weep for the lost blossoms, but treasure the ones still there.

Having a few regrets isn't something to be ashamed of. Regrets, painful as they can be, are the best teaching tools for life experience.

Own up to your mistakes and apologize. Never shirk responsibility.

You don't have to grow up, but you must get older. However, not everyone wants to be around the guy or girl who's 40 and acts 20.

You don't have to know what your exact future is. My mother is 67, and she still doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up.

Don't worry about tomorrow. Realize that worrying about tomorrow is as effective as trying to stop a car with a diaper.

There is only one person in the world you can really trust: yourself.

Think long and hard before you decide on having a child. However, if you do welcome one into your life, learn to parent well and love no matter what. There's a reason the term "my favorite mistake" was created.

Almost all cultures have a form of the golden rule. That should be a hint.

Realize that life will always get better. There's nothing sadder than the people who believe that high school or college was the best time of their lives. That means they have stopped trying to experience life.

Duct tape is great, but education and experience are better at fixing things. Make sure you have all three.

Fashions will change. Ideas will go in and out of style. People will always say that life was better when they were kids. Just nod and know you will do this too.

Always use the bathroom before you leave to go anywhere. Inevitably it's when you think you can make it that you don't.

Sleep in late occasionally, but never miss an appointment because of it.

Visit your home at least once a year. If you forget where you came from, you lose the things that made you who you are. Your past is large part of your future.

Go to a park and pick up a fallen leaf sometime during the Fall. It is a reminder of how insignificant we can be.

When consoling someone, it is ok to say "I'm sorry," but make sure that you follow up by not allowing that person to mope or quit.

Work isn't always the answer. Neither is sex, money, or winning.

Make a list of 100 things to do before you die. If you achieve one, you've succeeded.

Everyone, no matter what they say, wants to feel needed and loved. If you can make a person feel that way, they will march through Hell with you.

Four words: I love you too. Always respond. Never answer, "I know," or "Thank you." If you don't love that person, don't lie.

Read the cooking instructions only once. After that, make it your own dish. Personalize it. Cooking is a great deal like love. If you follow what you're told instead of what you feel, the dish (and the relationship) will end.

Accept the damn compliment. Say, "Thanks," and then shut up. You may not see it like the person complimenting you, but he or she believes it, so be nice.

People can be horrible at times. If we didn't act badly, we wouldn't know kindness. Instead of attacking back, contemplate why they act that way.

Don't be hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. If you didn't, how would you learn?

Travel or live somewhere outside your comfort zone. You just might find a new home.

Stay in touch with your family. Respect your parents. They've been through more than you can imagine and have a wealth of knowledge. If you have siblings, stay in touch with them. They are probably your go to person or people when you're in trouble. Tell your parents, siblings, and loved ones that you love them. They could be gone at any moment.

If you end up going to Disneyland, do not engage in fisticuffs with the Disney characters. Trust me.

You can disagree with other views, cultures, or opinions, but respect them. Never tell people that their thoughts are worthless. What makes your feelings better than theirs?

Sex is wonderful, but people can get tired. Make sure you can have a conversation or you may not be able to practice your, "best skill," as you may call it.

Not everyone is going to like or respect you. So what? Understand why those people feel that way and move along. Don't antagonize. In the end, as long as you respect yourself, life will be fine.

Get a massage. Your back is important, and you should take care of it.

Help those who need it, but be wary of those who would take advantage of it.

The arts are important. Mankind has put alot of its best work into visual, oral, and aural arts. Listen to music, see a film and a play, and attend a museum. You should also practice some yourself.

Good manners, good cooking, and good conversation skills will take your very far in life. Remember that.

Keep your different masks, but make sure the real you makes appearances now and then. Bare your soul at least once without frightening the world.

Be awed by the universe, be thankful for the time you've been given, and be present in the now instead of stuck in the past or imagining the future.

And always remember: the situation is hopeless, but not serious. Understand that, and you will love life.



Cat said...

Hi Leab,
Wonderful words of wisdom. I mean that seriously. GREAT post!

Anonymous said...


thanks for the words of wisdom. i enjoy the ones that seemed to be adapted slightly more for me. that last one is especially true, and i think i've finally realized the importance of it. i've printed most of them off, and they're now on my wall, a nice reminder of a better way to do things and good things to remember. it means a lot.


(oh and the one about Disneyworld, just makes me laugh, haha)