Half a century. That's how long I've been knocking about this mortal coil as of today. Fifty years old may seem young to some and old to others, but to me it seems just right. Maybe it's the Greek in me, but I've never had a problem with the idea of growing older. In the Greek culture, it's considered an honor to give young people council as the older, wiser family member. Now, no one's asked me for any advice lately, but if they should, I'd be happy to settle down in my chair, worry beads in hand, and dispense the following observations about life which I've accumulated during my fifty trips around the sun. Please feel free to add your own life lessons in the comments. Yasou!
1. There are billions of different people in the world, but there are only a few different types of people.
2. Belief in gods is a testament to the spectacular limitations of the human imagination.
3. Women hoping to have a meaningful relationship with a man must hold off having sex until they get to know their partner. It doesn't matter how liberated or modern women are--men don't respect women who sleep with them too soon. Unfortunately, no amount of legislation or protesting will change this.
4. Teenagers act menacing and secretive, but inside they are scared and unsure of themselves.
5. You can never go wrong treating people with respect, whether you like them or not.
6. Crazy people are often sexy, charming, vivacious, creative, funny, and attractive. They are to be avoided at all costs.
7. In the global scheme of national maturity, America is a toddler among adults.
8. Many Christians are smart and many are stupid. However, most atheists are smart.
9. Before physical abuse comes psychological and emotional abuse. We must learn to label and respond to abuse before it gets physical.
10. Animals are inherently innocent and beautiful. It's the influence of people that makes them evil and ugly.
11. Extraterrestrials mean us no harm. If they did, they would have wiped us out by now.
12. The U.S. public education system is and always has been broken for a reason. An uneducated population is a compliant population--easier to manipulate and control. This is why early training in critical thinking is so lacking, and so necessary.
13. The tendency toward addiction is independent of substance or activity. Once addictive desire is ignited in the brain, whether in response to alcohol, gambling, shopping, relationships, or anything else, a lifelong battle has begun.
14. There is much the government is not telling us, but not as much as conspiracy theorists believe there is.
15. We are taught as we grow up that the only way we will succeed is by doing our best. Then, as adults, we are surrounded by mediocrity that is rewarded handsomely.
16. Great art is produced by great artists who are not necessarily great people.
17. There is nothing sexier than a man who can dance well.
18. There is a fine line between antique and junk.
19. Wanton cursing is a hallmark of the inarticulate. But selective cursing can be a potent tool of the shrewd.
20. Make love as though it's the last time you will ever see your partner. It may well be.
21. The purpose of a college education is not to teach you how to do something--it's to teach you how to think.
21. For proof that the United States is not the greatest country on the planet, just visit any other country.
22. You can change the world, and the course of human events, just by channelling positive energy out into the universe.
23. Those who declare, "Just give me a week with that kid and I'll straighten him out," say so secure in the knowledge that they will never have to make good on their threat.
24. Marriage is the only endeavour in which people are considered more expert the fewer times they do it.
25. No matter how bad things get, they could always get worse. Sometimes just being able to close your eyes in sleep at the end of the day is a sign of triumph.
UPDATE: The rec list. I'm honored. Thanks, one and all. Best birthday present ever!