Friday, September 17, 2010

45 lessons

[Thanks to Ray]

Written by Regina Brett, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio 

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will
this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd
grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

- Regina Brett

(This is often circulated on the Net with the added claim that Ms. Brett is 90 years old, which isn't true. Yet at least.)


Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Actually, the odometer indicated 45, and later reached 50. In 2006. Check the original article. ("Now with 5 extra lessons!")

Still, one of them is a classic with a classic mistake. Here is the fixed version:
"Whatever doesn't kill you or cripple you really does make you stronger."
If a wound puts you in a wheelchair for life, if you lose your two hands or eyes, you didn't get any stronger.
I know, it's meant to describe more than the physical side. But so does my version. Not everyone gets crippled in their BODY. Some stay alive, but broken inside.
What doesn't DESTROY a living being in some way, strengthens it. It's scientific. Death is only the most extreme form of destruction.

eolake said...

Pascal, indeed so. I have always argued against the "Whatever doesn't kill you" thing. It's too simplistic, naive.

Ray said...

@ Eolake:

Thanks for including that link to the Wikipedia page about Regina Brett. I should also say that I got
that list from my old pal Peter, so
it wasn't my discovery. And thanks for posting it, Eolake.

Anonymous said...

Some of these are pretty bad really. Take this one:

Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
parents will. Stay in touch.

Like this example, many contain the message that you should do good things not because they're the right thing to do, but because of what you can get for yourself.
"It might be way down the road, but your investment will pay off!"

eolake said...

Right or wrong, this is not an uncommon technique. For example, the whole book How To Win Friends and Influence People is built on this, up to an including the title.

Anonymous said...

It might work for some people to just do it at first for purely selfish reasons and then, like Earl, eventually you might realize it's good to do those things anyway without expecting anything.

Take out the religious ones, though. They're useless.