Column: Life lessons, part two
As promised, here is the second column of significant lessons that have impacted my life. I hope you will think about those that have made a major, positive difference in your life.
• To love someone deeply and be loved deeply in return, is the greatest of personal blessings.
• Intelligence is no guarantee of wisdom, nor does sensitivity mean I will be more compassionate toward others. Intent, purpose and commitment must be factored into these equations. I have found that compassion is more critical to my personal development as a human being than intelligence.
• I have long appreciated and subscribed to the statement by a former U.S. President: “Progress is not measured by how much we add to the abundance of those who already have a great deal, but rather how much we do for those who have too little.”
• One of my favorite quotes is from St. Augustine: “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage: anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way things are.”
• I have reluctantly come to believe that politicians are people who believe that self-interests and/or party interests and/or special interests are more important than the public interest. Our nation needs far fewer politicians and far more public servants.
• One of the most valuable assets I possess is a sense of humor. Without it I would have not won the hand of My Beloved nor would I have weathered as well as I have the inevitable crises and downers that have occurred during my lifetime. While I laugh less than I did in earlier years, I am more sensitive to and appreciative of whimsy, irony, comedy and buffoonery which I observe in the human condition.
• Attitude may not be the most important element in my life, but it’s close. My perceptions of reality determine my perspectives on life. I become aware of this reality daily, especially since the loss of My Beloved.
• Without a doubt, one of the most important lessons I have learned is that to live a successful life, you must become a proactive lifelong learner. It is the best way I know of understanding and coping with the continuous, inevitable changes that impact our lives. However, I believe the single most critical lesson you can learn in life is how to be valuable. Living a life that is of value to family and society — especially to those in need — is the highest calling and the most significant contribution you can render within your lifetime. Being successful is fine, but being valuable is better!