Feb 02What I’ve Learned.
Not that Esquire asked...
Cruelty is all out of ignorance. If you knew what was in store for you, you wouldn’t hurt anybody, because whatever you do comes back much more forceful than you send it out. – Willie Nelson
The more we help others, the more we help ourselves. – Muhammad Ali
The human experience is a simple struggle to get in charge of the things that are seen as valuable. – Ornette Coleman
I never played when I didn’t want to be the best out there every night. Not once. – Larry Bird
Smaller details are less important. Let’s get on with the important stuff. – Clint Eastwood
If you want to be a butterfly, you have to spend some time as a worm. – Bill Maher
I have been reading Esquire magazine for at least 30 years. Though the magazine has gone through tremendous change over the decades, my favorite column has always been “What I Have Learned”, which is where the quotes above first appeared. In tough times and wonderful ones, I have often wondered what my “What I Have Learned” would look like. Here’s what I think it would be today:
Give first. It’s amazing what life delivers to those who just want to help others.
Being a dad is the toughest job you’ll ever love. Being a mom probably works that way too, but I’ve never done that.
Chasing money makes it more elusive. Letting it flow brings more around. I have no idea why it works this way. If anyone knows, please don’t explain it to me.
People believe what they want to believe. Trying to convince them with facts is an uphill battle and not a good use of your time. No one wants their story questioned.
Reconnecting with long-lost friends is a special joy.
A parent who doesn’t love her child unconditionally doesn’t love her child at all. One who does is there through everything. Kids know the difference early on.
Happiness is hard work. Real happiness doesn’t fall in your lap; it is a choice.
Forgiveness is a damnably difficult skill. Learning it will change your life.
You can forgive someone without continuing to have them in your life. Sometimes forgiveness depends on creating distance.
No one hurts someone else because they are happy and content. People who attack are hurting too. It’s hard to see that sometimes, but it makes forgiveness easier.
Being entrusted with someone’s dreams is a profound honor. When someone chooses to work with me, they are saying, “I have a dream that…” I don’t take that lightly.
Crying is healthy. I cry at Maxwell House Christmas commercials, “Brian’s Song”, and my children’s smiles. That emotion needs expression.
You cannot help someone beyond your own development. If someone is wrestling with emotional intelligence and you haven’t done that work, you can’t help. If someone is struggling with unconscious bias and you haven’t confronted yours, you’ll make it worse. You have to work on yourself before you can serve others.
Friends always seek the truth. Someone who doesn’t isn’t really a friend.
You never grow up. I always thought that I would reach an age where a mortgage, a job, and a family would turn my thoughts serious and my demeanor more mature. I still giggle when someone says, “that’s what she said”. That’s deep, right?
Love fixes everything that can be fixed. Not everything is amenable to being set right, but unconditional love opens that door. We get to choose whether we walk through it.