Editorial Note: I have been asked by a small number of people over the last few years if I were going to write a book with my pithy thoughts and aphorisms. I probably won’t because books are expensive to produce and I would like what I’ve learned from my mistakes to be freely available to anyone who wants to use it or to critique my youthful and not-so-youthful stupidity. So I’ve collected some of my thoughts from the past few years for those who are interested to review them and ponder or laugh at how silly I am. Whichever. See my thoughts from 2012 and 2013 if you care to.
December 31st, 2011 – There comes a time in every man’s life when that life is completely screwed up. Thankfully, I’m past that phase.
December 27th, 2011 – It gets easier and easier to avoid killing myself as time goes on. Life is good like that.
December 21st, 2011 – Intelligence bears little fruit without a healthy dose of diligence.
December 9th, 2011 – You can see a person’s true colors at any moment, but those colors are always more vivid when life becomes truly challenging.
December 7, 2011 – When I prayed for wisdom all those years ago, I was not anticipating the amount of suffering it would take to gain it.
December 4th, 2011 – Those who break the promises they make to themselves will most likely break the promises they make to you.
December 2nd, 2011 – Pain is good in the same way that stop signs are good. Sure, they can be annoying and keep you from doing what you want, but paying attention to them can save you a lot of problems.
December 1st, 2011 – Laughter may be the best medicine, but it is our tears shed in honest confession that allow us to experience true healing.
November 30th, 2011 – We’re a generation looking for valiant heroes and wise leaders. And like every generation, we’ll have to realize that we must become the heroes and leaders that we so desperately need.
November 24th, 2011 – I’m thankful for the trials that test my patience, the sacrifices that test my will, and the people who test my ability to love. You help me to grow into a better person, and I hope I do the same for you.
November 17th, 2011 – Hope is the most irrational emotion one can experience, but sometimes we really need to be irrational.
November 16th, 2011 – The most important kind of strength is not of the muscles or of the mind, but the strength of love. And it’s the kind of strength we most often abuse to the detriment of ourselves and others.
November 14th, 2011 – The time is coming when those who have been given so much are going to be asked to give it back with interest. I just hope we can find the will to pay that price.
November 13th, 2011 – If everyone spent as much time addressing their own inadequacies as they spend talking about the inadequacies of others, the world would be a much better place. Also, it would be less annoying for me.
November 12th, 2011 – When faced with opportunities, do you grasp the easiest opportunities or the most challenging ones?
November 8th, 2011 – I think it’s an interesting irony of our existence that death is so often what motivates us to live and that life is so often what motivates us to die.
November 3rd, 2011 – The best things I’ve ever done involved learning, getting stronger, and building character. The worst things I’ve ever done involved not a one of those.
October 28th, 2011 – The people who become heroes aren’t the ones who make the sensible choices that lead to a life of comfort and ease. They are the ones who make the hard choices that lead to pain and new challenges. And they have a much higher mortality rate. Still want to be a hero?
October 27th, 2011 – Each moment of your life is a moment to choose what kind of person you will be. All too often, we abdicate our responsibility for that choice and rationalize our failure to make good choices when we had the chance.
October 23rd, 2011 – Being an effective person is to a large extent a matter of removing the barriers you’ve put up to protect yourself from having to grow.
October 21st, 2011 – Why do we so often sell our beautiful dreams for small desires?
October 20th, 2011 – There’s a price for everything you gain. Sadly, most of the important things in life don’t come with a label detailing the value of the item and the cost of attaining it.
October 18th, 2011 – Many of us fail to realize that in order to gain the strength to climb to the glorious height of our potential, we must first understand the vast depth of our limitations.
October 13th, 2011 – Happiness has more to do with who you are than it has to do with where you are. That said, some places are still way better than others.
October 11th, 2011 – Sometimes you just have to let people fail, not because you enjoy it, but because some people only learn by screwing up royally.
October 6th, 2011 – There are times in life when reaching the next breath, the next moment, or the next step is your greatest desire. Those are not the happiest times, but if you can appreciate them, you find yourself with more character.
October 2nd, 2011 – I should never be elected to a public office, which makes me like most of our elected officials.
September 30th, 2011 – There is something quite liberating about knowing that I will not be leaving the battlefield alive, that there is peace waiting for me at the end of my war.
September 24th, 2011 – Death is like a box of chocolates. You have a general idea of what you’re going to get, but you won’t know the exact flavors of it until you taste it.
September 23rd, 2011 – Violence has always been part of our nature, and any violence that we do not turn outward will be turned inward upon ourselves. It is never good to hold on to violence, because if you do, it will gain a hold on you.
September 23rd, 2011 – The best way to understand your story is by listening carefully to the stories of others and seeing your own triumphs and failures in them, your own love and hate in them, your own joys and despair in them.
September 20th, 2011 – It takes incredible strength to love, to keep loving in the face of terrible tragedy, to give love even when your heart feels empty of it, to shower with love those who feel most unworthy of it. It’s a kind of strength we all need, and the only way to gain it is to love until you don’t have anything left… and then love more.
September 10th, 2011 – If you want to burn bridges, at least have the good sense to avoid burning the bridges on your path forward.
September 9th, 2011 – It’s best not to wantonly break down the emotional walls of a person who has built them to protect everyone else.
September 8th, 2011 – It is possible to learn a great deal about your own failings by observing the failings of others.
September 7th, 2011 – Those who exemplify heroic virtue have generally endured heroic suffering.
September 5th, 2011 – When two people love each other, there will inevitably be pain. But to a large extent, they get to decide how much pain there will be and how much joy there will be.
August 30th, 2011 – Education at its best is teachers maximizing learning opportunities for students and students taking full advantage of those opportunities. The absence of either will result in mediocrity at best, failure at worst.
August 23rd, 2011 – Our society often views consistency of behavior as an irritating vice of the virtuous and a laudable virtue of the vile.
August 22nd, 2011 – When you love as much as you want to be loved, you will soon be loved as much as you want.
August 20th, 2011 – The sunshine, moonlight, and starlight combined can not outshine the light of love in an unchained heart.
August 6th, 2011 – I am being broken so that I can become whole.
August 6th, 2011 – I do not like the emotional vulnerability that comes with having an open heart, but I’m learning to live with it because it is the only way to get stronger.
July 28th, 2011 – I am realizing that one of the great failures of our society is the disinclination to resolves issues proactively instead of waiting until we must resolve them reactively.
July 27th, 2011 – I am not going to carry those who are unwilling to carry themselves, only those who are unable to carry themselves.
July 26th, 2011 – I prefer harsh truths over comforting lies, challenges over cakewalks, and eggs over easy. Mmmm.
July 16th, 2011 – I am a loving heart lost in the dark. But the light of the dawn approaches, and the moonlight will shine through the misty blankets covering the sky.
July 10th, 2011 – I like two kinds of music: good music that gets your body moving, and great music that elevates the soul.
June 18th, 2011 – I am like a simile for a metaphor that is analogous to my own existence. In short, I’m incomparable.
January 29th, 2011 – Real love is what you do when the warm fuzzy feelings are gone, the pain has set in, and you have nothing left to give…so you give yourself.
October 25th, 2010 – I am disturbed by the statistical improbability of my existence, particularly in comparison to the statistical probability of the continuation of it.
March 29th, 2010 – I am not quite sure what to make of life sometimes, but I manage to enjoy it anyway.
June 7th, 2009 – I never cease to amaze myself with my ability to make things more difficult for myself.
May 23rd, 2009 – What’s worth giving every moment of your life for?
March 28th, 2009 – I sometimes wonder why we humans so often try to break the circle of life rather than living within it.
February 5th, 2009 – Certain danger is less problematic than uncertain danger.
January 11th, 2009 – If the English language made sense, a pool shark would a chlorinated-water shark, close relative of the fresh-water shark.
December 5th, 2008 – When life hands you lemonade, don’t forget to tip well.
November 23rd, 2008 – If you don’t like long goodbyes, it’s best not to have me at hello.
November 19th, 2008 – If honesty is the best policy, why are experienced policy-makers so often lying?
November 1st, 2008 – The more things you own, the more you are owned by them.
October 30th, 2008 – If love is blind, shouldn’t we get it a seeing eye dog?