Sunday, August 06, 2006

Life's Lessons

It is good to be trusting, as long as you first verify the trustworthiness of those in whom you place your trust.

Patience yields many rewards, not the least of which are accomplishment and payback.

Impatience often results in making decisions based on too little information, which is to say, it usually leads to mistakes.

Rage can be useful, if it is well controlled and carefully targeted. That rules out spontaneous rage as a useful emotion.

Emotion is more powerful than reason. Emotion is more easily communicated. Emotion appeals to emotion and blackmails reason. Those who try to rely solely on reason usually overlook the power of emotion, and they fail to see it at work in themselves.

Making a commitment and living up to it is good practice for marriage.

Love changes as one grows older. It becomes less self-centered and more truly reciprocal; that is, it becomes less fragile. But it cannot survive frequent betrayals of trust.

It is good to admit mistakes, if only to oneself. Admission helps to convert mistakes into lessons.

A person can cope with life's disappointments by dwelling on slights and harms committed by others or by ignoring them and looking for things to accomplish. For accomplishment cancels disappointment.

A mind that has not been stretched by constant learning and hard thinking becomes flabby and betrays its owner. It becomes a warehouse of unreliable memories instead of a machine that produces rational thoughts and feasible plans.

Sometimes I wish I had known in my 20s what I know in my 60s. Then it occurs to me that one of the joys of growing older is the possibility of learning about life.