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Monday, September 27, 2010

What I Have Learned

Autumn leaves arranged in flower shape on lawn

This here's the first of a series of posts on what all I have learned the last 55 years.  Usually the hard way. Just sharing with my truckbuddies for whatever it's worth to anybody. Which is probly not much, but I'm sharing what I have, not what I don't have.  Probly most thoughtful people over 40 could come up with something pert near the same if they was to try, so I know it ain't that special.

But it's funny how life works: a body spends all those years learning, learning, learning, and then by the time you got the world figgered out real good - damn, they're calling your flight, ya know what I mean guys?  Something just don't seem right about that, we ought to start out wise and get foolish later. Which o'course, some folks do, but you know what I mean.

Whatever, I'm up to 85 of these little suckers now.  Too many to spring on ya all at one time, so I'll ration 'em out from time to time. There's a few what other people come up with firstest, but most are just outta my own cogitatin'.  Food for thought, take 'em or leave 'em as you please.

The Duties of a Man:

1. To pull your own weight.

2. To pay your own way.

3. To ask no one for so much as a dime.

4. To be self-sufficient as far as possible, and then some.

5. To take care of your own, no matter the cost to yourself.

6. To never complain, never explain.

7. To mind your manners.

8. To mind your tongue.

9. To mind your own damn business.

10. To always say please, thank you, excuse me, and I’m sorry, no matter what, to a passing stranger or to your nearest and dearest. To omit them is to be a churl.

11. To accept with gratitude all that you do have and be indifferent to all you do not have. If you have no shoes, be damn glad you have feet.

12. To remember always that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.  And probably much sooner than you druther.

13. To remember always that you are but one hapless atom in a microscopic grain of sand on an infinite beach along the shore of eternity.

14. To know that God loves you anyway.

15. To know that God loves everybody else just the same, like your mama.

16. To know that God is Love.

17. To know that God is God, and you aren’t, and nobody else is, either.  It's confusion over the second and third points that causes all the trouble in the world.

18. To know what you do not know. And that's a helluva lot.

19. To know yourself.  Really and truly, no pretenses.  When you do, you will understand all the comedy and tragedy of mankind, and forgive.

20. To leave well before you wear out your welcome.

21. To leave them wanting more.

22. To know when to let go.

23. To let go absolutely.

24. To let go with grace.

25. To remember that a conversation should be a tennis game, not a skeet shoot.

26. To remember that in conversation, le moi est haïssable.

27. To remember that no one but a newfound lover is fascinated with you, or your life story, or what you think, or what you like and dislike. Even a lover will tire of all that long before you want him to.

28. To remember that in talking or writing, less is more.

29. To be an honest workman, a true craftsman, and a real expert in at least one useful thing. Several, if you can manage it.

30. To practice doing good deeds that no one else will ever know you did.

31. To bear your burdens quietly and never advertise the fact, or expect the slightest reward.

32. To never present yourself as an object of pity, and never become a burden.
Do what you can, not what you can't.  And then you'll be a halfway decent man, my son.

P.S. to any ladies who may read this:  I do not presume to speak for you.  Make your own list.


Ultra Dave said...

Love it!

Tuesday's Cowboy said...

Not surprised by your wisdom. I've learned something also over the last 10 years. When you're partner of 30+ years steps out every once in awhile and you accidentally learn about it, keep your mouth shut, don't let him know you know, and let him enjoy the rejuvenation that comes to both of you with that fling. At the end of the day, it's who he comes back home to sleep with at night that's important, kinda ties into your #27.

Ray's Cowboy said...

Very true to the heart. I have to say I really love it. I try to do most of them now. Sometimes the Devil comes in and it ain't pretty then, but for the most part I try to lead by example.
Thank you fo rsharing them with us.

Frank said...

The truth of these sayings is, in a way, scary. Especially those I know I don't live up to, which is a goodly number. - Frank

Russ Manley said...

You mustn't think I always have, either. But something to shoot for.

raulito said...

What disturbs me the most is that I sacrificed and studied, tried my best to become cultured and now I find that this whole new movement does not value learning or intellectual endevors...it seems that meritocracy in America is dying.
I for one always wanted a President that was smarter than me. Can you imagine a Palin Presidency?
you have a great blog and I am following it.

Russ Manley said...

The world in general values brawn over brains, and brains are in short supply everywhere: that's the long, sad story of the human race. We just have to do what we can to make it better, when and where we can.

But bienvenido to the Blue Truck, Raulito. Stop by and take a ride anytime.

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