Things I Know... a work in progress

Some time ago, a friend wrote a list of 25 things she knew for sure... she published it, and asked me to do the same. Since then, many things have changed in my/our lives, so without looking at the old list, I have decided to make my new list...

1) I know that I am going to die, and that I am likely not going to have a choice in how that happens. I don't think it will happen soon, but I hope it will be soon enough to spare us from any symptoms of dementia or alzheimers type mental incapacitation diseases.

2) I know that I am going to live, and that I have a choice in how I live. I do chose to try my best to overcome natural tendencies that are not my best, and to live a life that gives more than it takes. I want to live the rest of my life to ensure my wife, family, friends and those who don't have what we have materially and intellectually, are as well cared for as I can help manage.

3) I know that power modifies and perhaps corrupts one's instincts; and that the problems of the world today are a result of unbridled power in the political and business elite.

4) I know that many serious chronic health states... obesity, hypertension, intellectual dogma, cardiac disease and so on are easily avoided, reduced, or cured through early, mid or late stage education, public and mutual support, and peer expectations.

5) I know that when we expect our western societal values to be the standard for others we cause incredible geo-political problems. We should protect our values, perhaps learn from others, but what we call colonialist tendencies of the 16th thru 18th centuries appear to be repeating themselves through our western activities around the globe, today.

6) I know that I need to have a dog in our home... maybe two, but not four... not even three.

7) I know that I miss my Mother and Father and Lynnda's Mom and Dad more than I realized I would 30 years ago.

8) I know that intellectually I should be happy with limiting the material aspects of my life, I still like the creature comforts. I know it is challenging to balance social and personal values in this area, and the more one has, one needs to ensure he is giving as well as understand that he might be taking too much.

9) I know there are no personal entitlements other than those provided in the laws of our countries. I also know that in North America we are blessed with laws that facilitate life; and that this life can be at least as good as it can get; and that sniveling should be outlawed in NA.

10) I know it is not necessary to finish university four years after finishing high school; or sixteen years after kinder-garden. I know it is worth taking time to sniff around life a little before deciding which scent to follow. But then to snivel that life is hard, is just stating reality and we should 'get-over-it'.

11) I know I don't know everything. This is a new concept to me, unfortunately. Clearly, I know I should have learned more at every turn; that I should have taken the time, spent the energy on excellence, rather than accepting my perfunctory "good enough".

12) I know, now, that 'good enough' is the enemy of 'better'; and 'better' is the enemy of 'best'; and that perhaps none of these reach the level of 'excellent'... or even the 'best-that-we-can-do'.

13) I know that God gives us our relatives, and that we get to choose our friends (often populated by relatives)... I also know friends should be a conscious choice and not an obligation. I also know we have but a few real friends, so we should chose carefully.

14) I know shoveling someone else's snow out of their drive and walk-ways makes me feel better than than it may make them feel. The exercise is great, it contributes to the neighborhood's conviviality, and with the sidewalk clean, folks enjoy their walks more safely. (I wondered why my new neighbor mows my lawn when he does his.)

15) I know that if I live "one-day-at-a-time" I end up with 4,780 days left... that is if I live 'till I am Seventy-five years of age. Each day, with 24 hours, gives me a total of 8,741,860 minutes 'till I'm 75yo. What will I do with each day, and all of those precious hours? As Og Mandino taught me, "I will live them with love in my heart".

16) I have learned and now know that if I start the day with a cloud over my head, someone will get wet... it will be me!

17) I know that if I don't give up, I will find a way to have more good days, now that I know how few I have to waste.

18)I know that now that my Mom is dead, she seems to be able to see everything; I imagine her looking at what I do, shaking her head, one way or the other in approval or disagreement... she can see when I don't strip the bed after I have stayed with friends; or wipe the seat if I dribble... so I do.


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