Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Basic Rules of Life - INTRODUCTION

Written for my nephew, Travis for his 21st birthday. Since I didn't have any children of my own, I can pass this onto nephews and nieces without having to have proved any of the things mentioned. Maybe it's just a lot of hot air, but it was blown out in earnest.

The Basic Rules of Life

- Or -

“Trust Me On This One…”

Life is easy. You inhale. You exhale. Your heart beats for a while and then it doesn’t. If the doctors get to you in time, you live for a while longer. Life is a gift from God or the universe or whatever or whomever. It’s a mystery, but for most humans, living is easy.

Staying alive is a little tougher, but it’s not all that hard. Eat well and take vitamins if you don’t. Work out a little, just enough to keep your heart strong and your muscles flexible. Stay away from tobacco for the major portion of your years on the earth and drive safely. Look both ways before crossing the street. Don’t pet dogs that don’t know you. Don’t pick up snakes that make noise. Use sunscreen. People are living longer than any other time in human history and it may be that some people are living longer than they should. But the fact remains that with the medical advances made in the last century, normal life expectancy is nearing the one hundred-year mark.

Living a good life is not easy however. It is the third hardest thing you can do. The second hardest is staying married and the hardest is raising children…but we’ll talk about that later.

These “Rules of Life,” are my rules and perhaps no one else’s. Most of them have been revealed to me through one of three ways; 1) Observing other successful people and keeping good notes on what they do or don’t do, 2) Recognizing the obvious and 3) Making big mistakes and recognizing the error in my judgement. The third item is perhaps the most revealing in that the lesson(s) learned may have been obvious to others but were a mystery to me at the time.

The purpose in writing this is to maybe help you in deciding what rules you wish to adopt for yourself. Its been said that advice is worth what you paid for it. And that is generally true. If, however, you find some seed of truth in the following pages, then I’ve succeeded in this small endeavor. The most important thing to consider is that this advice (“words o’ wisdom,” fireside chat or whatever you wish to call this) is given with a great deal of love and caring.

Suffice to say I’ve made a fair share of errors in my life. I am trying to point out a few items that could serve as directional and/or caution signs as you travel along this much too short of a journey called “LIFE”. Imagine it as a crudely drawn road map with no specific highway numbers listed and only the “Road Closed,” “Curves Ahead” and “Bridge Out,” signs identified.

Before you begin, remember to wear your seat belt. Even if you followed all of the directions given, you will no doubt find yourself on some bumpy roads and down an occasional dark alley. But not to worry, it makes the journey more interesting in the retelling.

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