Philosophies and Blessings

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From Peter Aiken

This is a collection of philosophies and blessings that have been contributed or I have encountered over the years. I’ve attempted to live my life by them. I hope that you find them enjoyable and/or useful.

George Carlin’s Advice on How To Stay Young


(by George Carlin according to the email)

    1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
    2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
    3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ” An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.
    4. Enjoy the simple things.
    5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
    6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
    7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
    8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
    9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
    10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

National Friendship Week

Donated by Terry Moody (see Terry “Playing with Matches” pictures 1 2 & 3)

I’ve learned….
That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned….
That when you’re in love, it shows.

I’ve learned….
That just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.

I’ve learned….
That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve learned….
That being kind is more important than being right.

I’ve learned….
That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I’ve learned….
That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.

I’ve learned….
That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I’ve learned….
That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I’ve learned….
That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I’ve learned….
That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve learned….
That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.

I’ve learned….
That money doesn’t buy class.

I’ve learned….
That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I’ve learned…
That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned….
That the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

I’ve learned….
That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I’ve learned….
That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I’ve learned….
That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I’ve learned….
That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I’ve learned….
That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I’ve learned….
That there’s nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.

I’ve learned….
That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

I’ve learned….
That life is tough, but I’m tougher.

I’ve learned….
That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

I’ve learned….
That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I’ve learned….
That I wish I could have told my Dad that I love him one more time before he passed away.

I’ve learned….
That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I’ve learned….
That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I’ve learned….
That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

I’ve learned….
That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his/her little fist, that you’re hooked for life.

I’ve learned….
That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

I’ve learned …
That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life-threatening situation.

I’ve learned….
That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.


There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to
pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.

When the door of happiness closes, another opens, but often times we look so
long at the closed door that we don’t see the one which has been opened for

Don’t go for the looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for the wealth; even that
fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because takes only a smile to
make a dark day seem bright. Find the one that makes your heart smile.

Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be what you want to
be, because you have only one life and one chance to do all the things you
want to do.

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet. Enough trials to make you
strong. Enough sorrow to keep you human. Enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they
just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss and ends with a tear.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past, you can’t go
on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying, and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so that when you die, your the one who is smiling and everyone
around you is crying.

Happy New Year 1999

The twelve gifts … in this special season and all year long

  1. Happiness. Deep down within.
  2. Serenity. With each sunrise.
  3. Success. In each facet of your life.
  4. Family. Beside you.
  5. Close and caring friends.
  6. Health. Inside you.
  7. Love. That never ends.
  8. Special memories. Of all the yesterdays.
  9. A bright today. With much to be thankful for.
  10. A path. That leads to beautiful tomorrows.
  11. Dreams. That do their best to come true.
  12. Appreciation. Of all the wonderful things about you.

From a New Year’s card sent to me by Somporn Krutsakorn.

People are like stained glass

“People are like stained-glass windows.
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed
only if there is a light from within.”

–Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

What I’ve learned …

I’ve learned-~~~~-
that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.

I’ve learned-_
that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.

I’ve learned-
that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.

I’ve learned-
that it’s not what you have in your life
but who you have in your life that counts.

I’ve learned-
that you can get by on charm for about
fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t compare
yourself to the best others can do.

I’ve learned-
that you can do something in an instant
that will give you heartache for life.

I’ve learned-
that it’s taking me a long time
to become the person I want to be.

I’ve learned-
that you should always leave loved ones
with loving words. It may be the last
time you see them.

I’ve learned-
that you can keep going
long after you can’t.

I’ve learned-
that we are responsible for what we do,
no matter how we feel.

I’ve learned-
that either you control your attitude
or it controls you.

I’ve learned-
that regardless of how hot and steamy
a relationship is at first, the passion fades
and there had better be something else to take
its place.

I’ve learned-
that heroes are the people
who do what has to be done
when it needs to be done,
regardless of the consequences.

(( (Please keep reading there is a lot of
good stuff left and you’re more
than halfway through )

I’ve learned-
that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

I’ve learned-
that my best friend and I can do anything
or nothing and have the best time.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes the people you expect
to kick you when you’re down
will be the ones to help you get back up.

I’ve learned-
that sometimes when I’m angry
I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me
the right to be cruel.

I’ve learned-
that true friendship continues to grow,
even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.

I’ve learned-
that just because someone doesn’t love
you the way you want them to doesn’t
mean they don’t love you with all they have.

I’ve learned-
that maturity has more to do with
what types of experiences you’ve had
and what you’ve learned from them
and less to do with how many
birthdays you’ve celebrated.

I’ve learned-
that you should never tell a child
their dreams are unlikely or outlandish.
Few things are more humiliating, and what
a tragedy it would be if they believed it.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.

I’ve learned-
that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by
others. Sometimes you are to learn to forgive

I’ve learned-
that no matter how bad your heart is broken
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.

I’ve learned-
that our background and circumstances
may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we

I’ve learned-
that just because two people argue,
it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other
And just because they don’t argue,
it doesn’t mean they do.

I’ve learned-
that we don’t have to change friends
if we understand that friends change.

I’ve learned-
that you shouldn’t be so eager to find out a
secret. It could change your life forever.

I’ve learned-
that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.

I’ve learned-
that no matter how you try to protect your
children, they will eventually get hurt and
you will hurt in the process.

I’ve learned-
that your life can be changed in a matter of
hours by people who don’t even know you.

I’ve learned-
that even when you think you have no more
to give, when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.

I’ve learned-
that credentials on the wall
do not make you a decent human being.

I’ve learned-
that the people you care about most in life
are taken from you too soon.

I’ve learned-
that it’s hard to determine where to draw
the line between being nice and not hurting
people’s feelings and standing up
or what you believe.

Sent to me by my friend Trish Cowles – thanks Trish!

On your birthday …

May the sun bring you new energies by day.
May the moon softly restore you by night
May the rain wash away any worries you may have
May gentle breezes refresh your soul …
And, all the days of your life,
May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.

(from a Carlton Cards card that Cheri Nutty gave a friend on her birthday in 1999.)

Each day is a new account …

  • If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,000
  • That carried over no balance from day to day …
  • Allowed you to keep no cash in your account …
  • And every evening canceled whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day…
  • What would you do?
  • Draw out every cent every day, of course, and use it to your advantage!
  • Well, you have such a bank…and its name is “TIME.” Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
  • Every night, it rules off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.
  • It carries over no balances.
  • It allows no overdrafts.
  • Each day, it opens a new account with you.
  • Each night, it burns the records of the day.
  • If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.
  • There is no going back.
  • There is no drawing against to “Tomorrow.”
  • It is up to each of us to invest this precious fund of hours, minutes, and seconds in order to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!(Anonymous)

Rules for being human …

  1. You will receive a body.
    You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons.
    You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
    Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works.”
  4. A lesson is repeated until learned.
    A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end.
    There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is not better than “here.”
    When your “there” has become a “here” you will simply obtain another “there” that will, again, look better than “here.”
  7. Other are merely mirrors of you.
    You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you.
    You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. Your answers lie inside you.
    The answers to life’s questions live inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
  10. You will remember all this. (The original version of this said “You will forget all this” but I choose to write it as an affirmation).


Definitions of Great Friends:

  1. In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the person who let you
    have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.
  2. In first grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to
    the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the
    scary halls.
  3. In second grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped
    you stand up to the class bully.
  4. In third grade your idea of a good friend was the person who shared
    their lunch with you when you forgot yours on the bus.
  5. In fourth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who was
    willing to switch square dancing partners in gym so you wouldn’t have to be
    stuck do-si-do-ing with Nasty Nicky or Smelly Susan.
  6. In fifth grade your idea of a friend was the person who saved a seat
    on the back of the bus for you.
  7. In sixth grade your idea of a friend was the person who went up to
    Nick or Susan, your new crush, and asked them to dance with you, so that if
    they said no you wouldn’t have to be embarrassed.
  8. In seventh grade your idea of a friend was the person who let you
    copy the social studies homework from the night before that you had forgotten to do.
  9. In eighth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped
    you pack up your stuffed animals and old baseball cards so that your room
    would be a “high schooler’s” room, but didn’t laugh at you when you
    finished and broke out into tears.
  10. In ninth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to
    that “cool” party thrown by a senior so you wouldn’t wind up being the
    only freshman there.
  11. In tenth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who changed
    his or her schedule so you would have someone to sit with at lunch.
  12. In eleventh grade your idea of a good friend was the person who gave
    you rides in their new car, convinced your parents that you shouldn’t be
    grounded, consoled you when you broke up with Nick or Susan, and found you a date to
    the prom.
  13. In twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped
    you pick out a college, assured you that you would get into that college,
    helped you deal with your parents who were having a hard time adjusting to the idea of
    letting you go…
  14. At graduation your idea of a good friend was the person who was crying
    on the inside but managed the biggest smile one could give as they
    congratulated you.
  15. The summer after twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the
    person who helped you clean up the bottles from that party, helped you sneak out of
    the house when you just couldn’t deal with your parents, assured you that now
    that you and Nick or you and Susan were back together, you could make it
    through anything, helped you pack up for college and just silently hugged
    you as you looked through blurry eyes at 18 years of memories you were
    leaving behind, and finally on those last days of childhood, went out of
    their way to come over and send you off with a hug, a lot of memories,
    reassurance that you would make it in college as well as you had these past
    18 years, and most importantly sent you off to college knowing you were
  16. Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person who gives you the
    better of the two choices, hold your hand when you’re scared, helps you fight off
    those who try to take advantage of you, thinks of you at times when you are not
    there, reminds you of what you have forgotten, helps you put the past behind you
    but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer, stays with you
    so that you have confidence, goes out of their way to make time for you, helps
    you clear up your mistakes, helps you deal with pressure from others, smiles
    for you when they are sad, helps you become a better person,
    Pass on to those friends of the past, and those of the future…and
    those you have met along the way…Thank you for being a friend. No matter
    where we go or who we become, never forget who helped us get there.
    There’s never a wrong time to pick up a phone or send a message telling your
    Friends that you appreciate them. You know who you are, pass it on to someone who you want to remind.

Instructions For Life

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
  2. Memorize your favorite poem.
  3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, “I love you”, mean it.
  5. When you say, “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
  11. Don’t judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slow but think quick.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”.
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  15. Call your mom.
  16. Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze.
  17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
  18. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
  19. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  20. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  22. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  23. Spend some time alone.
  24. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  25. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  26. Read more books and watch less TV.
  27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.
  28. Trust in God but lock your car.
  29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
  30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
  31. Read between the lines.
  32. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
  33. Be gentle with the earth.
  34. Pray — there’s immeasurable power in it.
  35. Never interrupt when you are being flattered.
  36. Mind your own business.
  37. Don’t trust a LOVER who doesn’t close his/her eyes when you kiss THEM.
  38. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  39. If you make a lot of money, put it to use helping others while you are living. That is wealth’s greatest satisfaction.
  40. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a stroke of luck.
  41. Learn the rules then break some.
  42. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
  43. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  44. Remember that your character is your destiny.
  45. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

(Supposed) Commencement Address by Kurk Vonnegut

(Purported to be written by Paul Krassner)

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts.

Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy.

Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters.

Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.