Sunday, October 26, 2008

Reckless youth makes rueful age

When we are young life stretches out for ever -- old is what somebody else is. We have strength and vigour; late nights and excesses can be coped with. Live for today -- the future will take care of itself.

We eventually learn the truth but by that time a lot of damage has been done. The cry goes up: "If only I had listened." But can the young learn from being told? Without some experience words are just words.

If you want to pass on your wealth of knowledge from "been there, done that" you need to find a way to give the young the equivalent of a flu jag. A limited experience sufficient to provide a stimulus to learn that wises up its recipient without permanent damage.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rest and success are fellows

Hard work over time generally brings advantage. So it is a good thing then? Well, like all good things, too much tips you into a bad place.

Wise people know the benefits of a well-rested body and mind. There might be times in your life when the pressures mount and it is extremely difficult to cope. You might end up sleep deprived and suffering physical deterioration. It goes without saying that this is something to avoid but if you find yourself in this situation it might be necessary to grit your teeth and summon every reserve you have to struggle through.

However, in normal circumstances you should plan to have proper rest and relaxation so that you are more able to head off a crisis before it fully strikes. Prevention is better than cure.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Prosperity destroys fools and endangers the wise

Success breeds complacency. If you are not very wise you will tend to assume that riches and happiness are your right and entitlement. You might even assume that your good fortune is part of the natural order of things.

The wise person might not be so naive and have some awareness that good times can vanish but when things have been good for a long time even the knowledgeable can be lulled into a false sense of security. They know things can go wrong but not always when. As a result they can be caught napping.

Just as Caesar employed someone to stand behind him, as he received the adulation of the crowds, to remind him he was not a god, you might be wise to put a note of this saying somewhere as an aide memoire.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Repentance is the May of the virtues

There are times in life when you get it wrong. "You screw up" in modern parlance. So how do you react? Most of us tend to retreat into denial: we look for excuses, justifications or escape clauses. But sometimes there aren't any so you must "fess up", take the rap, hold up your hands, take it on the chin.

Once you accept your wrongdoing and see no wriggle room what is the best way forwards? When you have achieved the state of mind of paying the price or accepting due punishment you are ready to repent: to show contrition and make amends.

This saying suggests penitence is a time of renewal just like May is the time of year when new growth recreates the glories of Nature. Having acknowledged your wrongdoing and accepted the consequences you can move on and renew your life.

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