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I have a book on my desk written and compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr., entitled Live and Learn and Pass It On. The subtitle reads: “People ages 5 to 95 share what they’ve discovered about life, love, and other good stuff.” During the introduction, Brown discusses how on his fifty-first birthday he thought it would be interesting to jot down some of the things he had learned in a half a century of living. He wrote, “I’ve learned that…” twenty times on the left-hand side of a piece of paper. He then completed the twenty sentences. He enjoyed the activity enough to add it to his Sunday routine. One thing led to another, which led to a book filled with the wisdom of people just beginning to learn and those amazed to be still learning nearly one hundred years later.
Between the covers of the book are such pearls of wisdom as the ten-year-old’s words, “I’ve learned that it’s not what happens to people that’s important. It’s what they do about it.” Or the sixty-six-year-old’s statement, “I’ve learned that nothing very bad or very good every lasts very long.” And my absolute favorite, today anyway, is the five-year-old who said, “I’ve learned that goldfish don’t like Jello.”
I sat down and wrote the first twenty things that came to mind. I’m sure my list would change from day to day, depending on what was on my mind, but here are just a few things I’ve learned in my first fifty-two years.
- I’ve learned that Dorothy was right. There is, in fact, no place like home, but home is where you make it.
- I’ve learned that plans never really go as planned. Being willing to adapt without fuss is the key to a happy vacation.
- I’ve learned that I should be thankful that the promise of tomorrow was kept. Every morning I rise is a good morning.
- I’ve learned that anything to excess is too much.
- I’ve learned that how people feel about themselves is more important than what anyone else thinks.
- I’ve learned that it is possible to eat healthy food and like it.
- I’ve learned that my parents were much younger than I thought they were when I was growing up.
- I’ve learned that seventy-five percent of the stuff I worry about never happens. Worry is not a smart investment of time and energy.
- I’ve learned that friends and loved ones can be taken in a tragic instant. Never take them for granted.
- I’ve learned that love at first sight is a real physical phenomenon. Our bodies recognize the connection before our hearts do.
- I’ve learned that disciplining a cat only creates an enemy hell bent on terrorizing you.
- I’ve learned that knowing you are loved gives you wings.
- I’ve learned that finding a way to earn a living doing something you’re passionate about makes life so much more fun.
- I’ve learned that you’re never too old to pursue a dream.
- I’ve learned that I knew nothing about the proper glasses for consuming different kinds of wine, or that it even mattered. A Dixie cup was always just fine.
- I’ve learned that the compassion of a dog can heal a broken heart.
- I’ve learned that a home filled with laughter is a great place to be.
- I’ve learned that there is more truth to fiction than most people assume.
- I’ve learned that only our bodies age. My mind still thinks I’m 25.
learned that I love to learn. The world is fascinating to me.I'll end with another favorite from Brown's book:"I've learned to keep looking ahead. There are still so many good books to read, sunsets to see, friends to visit, and old dogs to take walks with." —Age 86