Friday, December 18, 2015

Things I've Learned In My 1st 46 Years

Today is my 46th birthday. Here are some of the things I've learned in my 1st 46 years on this planet:

Family always sticks together. Desertion is treason.
  
Never do anything only for the money. No matter how much it is. No matter how badly you need it. If you need the money that badly, you can find another reason to do it.

Anytime someone says, “It’s not about (fill in the blank),” they’re lying.

If you have to lie, make it a plausible lie.  It shows you respect the person you’re lying to, and thus raises less suspicion.

Three men can keep a secret, but only if two of them are dead.  (From Benjamin Franklin.)

It’s never too late to apologize.

It’s never too late to forgive.

Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s looking fear dead in the eye and saying, “To hell with you, I’m moving forward, and you won’t stop me.”

It’s okay to rat someone out if it will save a life, but never if all that will be saved is money.

Always give the effort. People will forgive defeat if it looked like you cared enough to try to win.

If you can’t win, at least make the winner feel as though his win wasn’t worth it the effort.

Better to trust a sincere fool than a smart liar.

If people think you’re crazy or stupid, use it to your advantage before they can use it to theirs. (I like to call this the Dizzy Dean Rule.)

You don’t need a third drink.

Admit it when you’re wrong.

Coincidence is what the incurious believe in.

Never throw the first punch. Throw the next four. (From Billy Martin.)

There’s no shame in a man admitting he’s in over his head. (From Colonel Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H.)

Never apologize for having told the truth.

Never mess with a Scotsman’s golf clubs.

Nothing is worth a triple-dog-dare. (A reference to A Christmas Story.)

It’s better to be called a coward by an asshole than to be revealed as an asshole by anyone.

Love is worth a concession, but no kind of sex is worth making yourself look undignified in public. (A variant of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons: “No woman’s worth crawling on the Earth, so walk like a man, my son.”)

Never pick on a rookie when he’s down.

If you can keep your head about you while all others are losing theirs, maybe they know something you need to know. (A variant of Rudyard Kipling: “ ...while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you... yours is the world and all that’s in it, and, what’s more, you’ll be a man, my son!”)

Be the underestimated, never the underestimator.

If life hands you lemonade, drink it before someone turns it back into lemons.

Never blame on malice what you can blame on incompetence. (This, and variations on it, are called “Hanlon’s Razor,” and have been attributed to Robert J. Hanlon, Robert A. Heinlein, Bernard Ingham, Napoleon Bonaparte and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.)

If the music don’t sound good, who cares what the picture looks like? (From Ray Charles, in a 1984 commercial for Pioneer laserdisc players.)

A better vocabulary than your opponent is more intimidating than yelling, but more intimidating still is a properly-placed and properly-timed silence.

Sometimes, paranoia is justified.

Always look busy, so they won’t know that you’re fooling around. (A variant of George Costanza on Seinfeld: “If you look annoyed, people will assume that you’re busy.”)

You don’t have to understand women. You only have to understand one woman.

Never remind a woman that you were right and she was wrong. Even if you were right, reminding her of that just makes you wrong-squared.

Never talk on the phone in the bathroom. It’s like you’re pissing on the other person’s shoes.

Never shut up, or the other side will be the only one heard.

Have a heart of gold, but never at the cost of a spine of steel.

Never let the desire for perfection interfere with your ability to do good. (Sometimes written as, “Never let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Originally, “The better is the enemy of the good,” from Voltaire. Also known as “settling for half a loaf.”)

Not every person in your party is an ally, and not every person in the other party is an enemy. Corollary: Better to trust a principled member of the other party than an unprincipled member of your own.

It’s not the crime that gets you, it’s the cover-up. (Variations of this go back to Watergate.)

When a politician resigns his office or announces he’s not running for re-election “to spend more time with my family,” it’s code for, “I did something wrong, and my wife found out about it, and I have to make it up to her.”

Forgetting when to keep the truth to yourself can be as damaging as getting caught in a lie.

There will be times when you are not the best spokesman for your own opinion.

Sometimes a good message comes from a messenger you won’t like.

If you're not in favor of government spending for universal health care, you are NOT "pro-life."

Never accept an apology from someone who's only sorry he got caught. 

Never go to bed with someone that you're not willing to have breakfast with in the morning.
 
Never draw your weapon, unless you're willing to use it.
 
When you walk into a room, look around, and see if you can see a sucker. If you can't, walk out of the room, because the sucker is you.

Anybody who says sports is war has never been in a war. (From Bob Feller.)

Sports may be a microcosm of life, but it's not life and death.

Your season may have ended badly, but there's always another season. (From Nick Hornby.)

Your successes and failures are not tied in with your team's. (Also from Hornby.)

Sports, or anything else you might be interested in, isn't something that anyone else can understand, unless they also belong. (Also from Hornby.)

If a child that is not your own believes in Santa Claus, let them. If the child is not yours, then explaining how St. Nicholas was turned into Santa Claus is not your call.

Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end. (From Leonard Nimoy.)

It's not important that you are the one who does something. What is important is that it is done. (From Reggie Jackson.)

Anything worth doing is worth doing with a full heart. If you can't, don't do it.

And if a two-year-old girl wants you to play with her, do it. She won't remember it when she's three, but it's not just for her. It's for you.

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