Dear Ann Landers: I am sending you a message to the high school graduating class in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, by the publisher of the Mount Pleasant News. His name is Emery Styron.
I hope you will agree that there is a lot of wisdom here and that you will print it. - Dennis Fitzpatrick in Iowa
Dear Dennis: The wisdom in Emery Styron’s editorial is timeless and just as useful in July as it was when the Mount Pleasant News published it in May. Thanks for sending it on. Here it is:
Attention Graduates: There is the kind of education you get in school and the kind you get afterward. Both are important. Put them together, and you have wisdom. The trouble is, life is generally half over before you figure out what is going on. Graduating seniors can save 25 years of trial, error and hard knocks by memorizing the lessons of life listed below.
On the average, you learn about one big lesson per year after you leave high school. In really tough years, you learn two or three. Some years, you don’t learn anything. After 40, you forget things and have to learn them again.
Some of this information is borrowed. Some is stolen. Some may even be original, but that’s doubtful. It’s pretty hard to be original in a world as old as this one.
25 Things You’ll Need to Know After High School
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and remember, most stuff is small.
2. The most boring word in any language is “I.”
3. Nobody is indispensable, especially you.
4. Life is full of surprises. Just say “never” and you’ll see.
5. People are more important than things.
6. Persistence will get you almost anything eventually.
7. Nobody can make you happy. Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
8. There’s so much bad in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us that it doesn’t behoove any of us to talk about the rest of us.
9. Live by what you trust, not by what you fear.
10. Character counts. Family matters.
11. Eating out with small children isn’t worth it, even if someone else is buying.
12. If you wait to have kids until you can afford them, you probably never will.
13. Baby kittens don’t begin to open their eyes for six weeks after birth. Men generally take about 26 years.
14. The world would run a lot smoother if more men knew how to dance.
15. Television ruins more minds than drugs.
16. Sometimes there is more to gain in being wrong than right.
17. Life is so much simpler when you tell the truth.
18. People who do the world’s real work don’t usually wear neckties.
19. A good joke beats a pill for a lot of ailments.
20. There are no substitutes for fresh air, sunshine and exercise.
21. A smile is the cheapest way to improve your looks, even if your teeth are crooked.
22. May you live life so there is standing room only at your funeral.
23. Mothers always know best, but sometimes fathers know, too.
24. Forgive yourself, your friends and your enemies. You’re all only human.
25. If you don’t do anything else in life, love someone and let someone love you.
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