Fifteen Truisms Learned in Life
Experience Is the Best Teacher
They say that experience is the best teacher. The experiences which I have had over my life before and after parenting have certainly confirmed that not all education is obtained from books and in school. Since my birth in 1944, I can think of at least 15 truisms learned in life. In this article, I will share this wisdom with you.
Fifteen Truisms Learned in Life
1. Nothing Ventured - Nothing Gained
If you want to get anything out of life, you have to be proactive and go after it. When I was young, I heard a lot of people refer to this as "no guts - no glory."
After I left the Navy in 1971, I was at a crossroads in my life. Should I go back to college and study to be a chemistry teacher, or should I study Chinese language and literature and with it try to get a job in life? I was taking a chance of banking on studying more Chinese and going to Taiwan in the 1970s. There were no guarantees I would be successful, but fortunately, my Taiwan experience and Chinese training landed me a good job with the federal government.
2. There Is No Free Lunch.
Throughout my life, I have learned that you get nothing for free. In one way or another, you have to pay for anything you get. You might send your kids to tuition-free public schools, but in fact, your property taxes are paying to support these schools. Sex in marriage is also not free since you have to support a wife or husband.
3. You Get Out of Life Just What You Put Into It.
This used to be one of my father's favorite sayings when he encouraged me to be an excellent student and make something out of my life. He would contrast the successful with the unsuccessful people and note that there was a correlation between hard work and success and laziness and failure.
4. A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted.
I learned this truism when I was in the Navy. Some of my shipmates would have too much "wine, women, and song" on the night they got paid, and then be broke until the next payday.
5. You Can't Show All of Your Cards.
Being too honest has hurt me many times in my life. Some people have taken advantage of my honesty to the detriment of my family and me. This is one of the reasons why I never could be a good businessman.
6. An Idle Mind Is a Devil's Workshop.
If you have too much free time and bad friends, trouble will follow. My son had too much unsupervised free time when he was in high school. Consequently, one night he and his friends were arrested for breaking into private property.
7. Dare to Be Different.
I remember my mother telling me this when I was in high school. Studying Chinese, living in Taiwan and Thailand, and being married to women from Taiwan and Thailand showed that I did indeed dare to be different.
8. You Get What You Pay For.
When I was young, I always thought that the cheapest goods were the best to buy. Over the years, however, I have learned that price and quality are related. If you want to have something really good, you have to pay more money for it.
9. Beggars Can't Be Choosers.
This simply means that in some situations you can't dictate what you will receive. In my latest teaching job at a Bangkok school, all foreign teachers were given a free lunch. At times when some of my colleagues complained about the quality of the food, I would simply remind them that "beggars can't be choosers."
10. You Are What You Eat.
Just by looking at people, you get a good idea about what kind of things they like eating. Anyone who is fat undoubtedly likes sweets, bakery, and fast food.
11. Tell Me Who Your Friends Are, and I Will Tell You What You Are.
There is a saying that "birds of a feather flock together." Isn't it true that dishonest people have a lot of dishonest friends, and that the partying type runs around with partying friends?
12. Rome Wasn't Built in a Day.
Whenever I became impatient because I couldn't get something in a hurry, my mother would remind me that "Rome wasn't built in a day."
13. Haste Makes Waste.
At times, I would rush through my barn chores when young to get done faster to watch a ball game on TV. When this happened, my father would remind me to take my time and do a good job because "haste makes waste."
14. Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child.
As I interpret this, It doesn't mean using a rod to beat a misbehaving child. It means that due lawful punishment should be given to a disobedient, misbehaving child. If this is not done, the child will become spoiled.
15. If You Don't First Succeed, Try Again.
This simply means you have to have perseverance and persist in going after a goal. My sister didn't get into vet school the first two times she applied, but she didn't give up and was finally successful getting in on the third try at the age of 28.
The fifteen truisms illustrated in this article have been learned through personal experiences. My life-long experiences have also generated other truisms that I will share in future articles.
Truisms in Life
Education for Life
Where is the best education for life found?
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Paul Richard Kuehn