Some things I’ve learned in a quarter century.

Some things I’ve learned in a quarter century.

On a very good blog, someone posted a few of her thoughts on life. I found it absolutely charming and brilliant. So here are some of mine.

Get a job washing dishes.

Try to speak the native language wherever you are even if you only know a few words. Simple manners.

Go see Rent.

Work with people who are more talented then you. It will push you further.

The best conversations with your father will occur on a bike ride.

Get astoundingly drunk at least once a year.

Say, ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ to people who are older than you. Even if they are serving you food or shining your shoes.

Don’t vote along a party ticket.

Don’t judge people for eating fast food. What person on minimum wage can afford locally produced, fair-trade, fresh market organic avocados?

Take dancing lessons.

Be poor at least once.

Lose with grace. Because you will lose a lot.

Check your iron levels.

Don’t forget your toothbrush.

Thank your high school teachers. They deserve it.

Be suspicious of mobs with slogans.


You are the most important person in your life.

Fight for your beliefs. But realize they are only your beliefs.

Read to your children.

Read to your self.

Read poetry.

Read anything and everything.

Therapy can help… a lot.

Why half-ass something?

Sleep in a small car for a night or two.

There is nothing important on television.

Smart people don’t know all the answers. Smart people ask good questions.

Never walk past suffering… and we all have.

Date someone from the country’s interior. Even if things don’t work out, you’ll be better for it.

There is such a thing as a good death.

Sailing upwind with a fierce breeze is the most fun you will ever have.

Support American soldiers. They are risking their lives, not making policy.

Besides alcohol, drugs are highly overrated.

Hold the door for people.

No one promised you universal justice.

Eat at Waffle House at 2am.

Nothing is beyond criticism.

Move. Don’t stay still. Hop, run, skip. Climb a wall, jump in a pool, ride a bike, hike up a mountain. Get off your computer. Life is outside, not on the Internet and especially not on this blog.

Love your mother.


  1. Sam, I love this. The best conversation I have had with my father was, in fact, on a bike ride. And I won't start on iron levels...
    This post reminded me of the "Wear Sunscreen Speech" by Mary Schmidt of the Chicago Tribune, which I consider gospel. You can find it here:


  2. Nice, Sam - all of it...although I would change 'Tip' to 'Tip well'. I've always figured that the extra $1 or $5 or whatever means a lot more to the person receiving it than it does to me leaving it.

    Sp great to spend some time with you Sunday - I'm looking forward to more of the same in the future.


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