Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Wisdom of the Ages

I love the way that googling so often leads to unsearched-for random sites I'd never otherwise see. Case in point: Wisdom of the Ages, a category in a blog called In a minute ago. The blogger, Sharon B, posed the question, "What lesson have you learnt in life?", provoked by the memory of useful advice once given by a friend:
In my twenties I bustled around about something and a very good friend who was in her nineties said to me, "Sharon, will you remember this when you are 90?" I realised I would not and the comment put the issue in perspective for me. It was one little comment that has influenced so much in my life. If I am hassled or tense about an issue, I stop and ask if I will remember it when I am at the end of my life. If not, I don't worry; if so, I know it's one of those big issues.
When I looked, there were 395 replies. I haven't been through them all, and a lot of the ideas don't appeal to me, but then I think that's the way it should be. We're all different; what works for you won't work for me. But it's an interesting wander through the opinions of many, and worth it for gems such as this (abbreviated, from #302):

- Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
- If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
- If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
- It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
- Never buy a car you can't push.
- The early worm gets eaten by the bird, so sleep late.
- Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.
- Happiness comes through doors you didn't even know you left open.
Ahh... Wisdom. Wouldn't it be nice?

And if just the thought of acting like this didn't scare the stuffing out of my stupid timid self, this would be the way to live (#371):

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, gin & tonic in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, what a ride!"