Those of you who subject yourself to Facebook have probably noticed the “Your Memories on Facebook” feature, which reminds you of nonsense you participated in on this date some years ago. I got one of those pokes today, a reprint of something I had written while I was at the Monterey Herald six years ago. Apparently it was a slow news day. Cal Am must not have applied for a rate increase. For subject matter, I was left with whatever was rolling around in my head. It’s about things that age had taught me. I share it here because it’s Monday and, as far as I know, Cal am has not applied for a rate increase yet this week. Please feel encouraged to add on:
The aging process brings so many unwanted things, like wrinkles and sags, creakiness and crankiness, that we tend to forget that some of the baggage it creates is actually worth carrying around.
There is no direct correlation between baldness and wisdom, between age spots and insight, but time is a fine teacher if we pay attention to what’s going on instead of worrying about what we might have missed. Contemplation can be more useful than speed. Sometimes the very best course is to find a comfortable seat.
To illustrate the point, here’s a list, close to complete, of the things I know now that I didn’t know back when I still owned a comb. Back when I thought the world was a meritocracy and that a pretty woman and a little whiskey could improve any situation.
· Nothing is more important than family, but good friends and good neighbors come close.
· To maintain good relations with family, friends and neighbors, you must forgive.
· If you need help, ask a poor person.
· Old people aren’t nicer than young people. They’re just slower to react.
· I should have gone to work for the government.
· The country is divided culturally more than politically. Liberals tend to like Priuses and tofu. Conservatives tend to like NASCAR and cheeseburgers. Swing voters haven’t given it a lot of thought.
· Banjos, vehicular subwoofers and discipline should be used sparingly.
· The stock market gives us a system that worships short-term profit-taking and punishes planning, maintenance, reinvestment and humanity.
· People who say they don’t like children haven’t spent much time with children or, if they have, it was with the wrong children.
· The teacher is as important as the lesson.
· Opera, especially the women, can be wonderful.
· Tomato juice does no good when a dog gets skunked, but baking power, detergent and hydrogen peroxide do help.
· One lazy person in an organization can drag the entire organization down.
· Black shoe polish, the pasty kind in a can, should be used on dark brown shoes. Really.
· If you buy a second diesel-powered vehicle, the cost of diesel will rise beyond all reason.
· WD-40 is not a lubricant.
· An oil leak is no substitute for an oil change.
· A good tomato is best eaten outdoors.
· My dad was right when he said, “Do something even if it’s wrong.”
· Those in power cannot be persuaded to do the right thing unless it directly benefits them. Power is never given away.
· Governments, like unions, can be effective, but only if the people involved insist on it.
· When a woman cries, there is a good chance she is angry, not sad.
And that’s it. There may be others, but I have forgotten them. Circumstances might shake some of the other things loose at the appropriate times, but I don’t count on it. Time taught me long ago that the right answers usually arise well after the question has become moot.