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Bits of Wisdom

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"The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
-- William Shakespeare

This is a collection of verses and truisms that everyone ought to know.


"The Parts of Speech"

Three little words you often see
are articles -- a, an, and the.
A noun's the name of anything,
as School, or Garden, Hoop or Swing.
Adjectives tell the kind of Noun,
as Great, Small, Pretty, White or Brown.
Instead of Nouns the Pronouns stand,
Her head, His face, Your arm, My hand.
Verbs tell of something being done:
To Read, Count, Laugh, Sing, Jump or Run.
How things are done the Adverbs tell,
As Slowly, Quickly, Ill, or Well.
Conjunctions join the words together,
As men And Women, wind Or weather.
The Preposition stands before
A Noun, as In or Through a door.
The Interjection shows surprise,
As Oh! how pretty! Ah! how wise.
The Whole are called Nine Parts of Speech,
Which reading, writing, speaking teach.

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"Love or Infatuation?"

Infatuation is instant desire. It is one set of glands calling to another.
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows - one day at a time.
Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and pieces about your beloved that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream.
Love is quiet understanding and the mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you - to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his presence, even when he is away. Miles do not separate you. You want him nearer. But near or far, you know he is yours and you can wait.
Infatuation says, "We must get married right away. I can't risk losing him."
Love says, "Be patient. Don't panic. Plan your future with confidence."
Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. If you are honest, you will admit it is difficult to be in one another's company unless you are sure it will end in intimacy.
Love is the maturation of friendship. You must be friends before you can be lovers.
Infatuation lacks confidence. When he's away, you wonder if he's cheating.  Sometimes you check.
Love means trust. You are calm, secure and unthreatened. He feels that trust, and it makes him even more trustworthy.
Infatuation might lead you to do things you'll regret later, but love never will.
Love is an upper. It makes you look up. It makes you think up. It makes you a better person than you were before.

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"I'm Only Seventeen"

Agony claws my mind. I am a statistic. When I first got here I felt very much alone. I was overwhelmed by grief, and I expected to find sympathy.

I found no sympathy. I saw only thousands of others whose bodies were as badly mangled as mine. I was given a number and placed in a category. The category was called "Traffic Fatalities".

The day I died was an ordinary school day. How I wish I had taken the bus. But I was too cool for the bus. I remember how I wheedled the car out of Mom. "Special favor," I pleaded. "All the kids drive." When the 2:50 bell rang, I threw all my books in the locker. I was free until 8:40 tomorrow morning! I ran to the parking lot, excited at the thought of driving a car and being my own boss. Free!

It doesn't matter how the accident happened. I was goofing off, going too fast. Taking crazy chances. But I was enjoying my freedom and having fun. The last thing I remember, I was passing an old lady who seemed to be going awfully slowly. I heard the deafening crash and felt a terrible jolt. Glass and steel flew everywhere. My whole body seemed to be turning inside out. I heard myself scream.

Suddenly it was quiet. A police officer was standing over me. There was a doctor, and my body was mangled. I was saturated with blood. Pieces of jagged glass were sticking out all over. Strange that I couldnít feel anything.

Hey, don't pull that sheet over my head! I can't be dead. Iím only 17. Iíve got a date tonight. Iím supposed to grow up and have a wonderful life. I haven't even lived yet, I can't be dead.

Later I was placed in a drawer. My folks had to identify me. Why did they have to see me like this? Why did my mother have to face the most terrible ordeal of her life? Why did Dad suddenly look like an old man? He told the man in charge, "Yes, that is my child."

The funeral was a weird experience. All my relatives and friends walked toward the casket. They passed by, one by one, and looked at me with the saddest eyes. Some of the boys were crying. A few of the girls touched my hand and sobbed as they walked away.

I wish someone could wake me up and get me out of this casket! My mom and dad are so broken up. My grandparents are so wracked with grief that they can barely walk. My brothers and sisters stare ahead like zombies, and move like robots. No one can believe that this happened to me.

Please don't bury me! I have lots of living to do! I want to run and jump again. I want to laugh and sing. Please don't put me in the ground. I promise if you give me one more chance, I'll be the most careful driver in the whole world!

Please, God, I'm only 17!

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"Teenage Lament"

The new morality - and freedom.
From classes - what a drag!
From Mom and Dad - always arguing.
From homework - senseless hours.
From discipline - useless.
From church - a bore.
From conformity - a hangup.
I'm my own woman now.
Made so by one decision.
One hour of love and pleasure.
Free now to look at my cheerleading sweater hanging in the closet.
My books and basketball schedule resting on the shelf.
My material for a prom formal - never made - as it sits amid the remnants of the fabric left over from my maternity tops.
My medals from band and choir, forsaken in the clutter of a jewelry box.
My friends passing by my window.
Laughing over the gossip column in the school paper
And giggling over who will be the next to experience
The new morality - and freedom.
For cleaning - what a drag!
For him - always arguing.
For ironing - senseless hours.
For dishes - useless.
For cooking - a bore.
For sex - a hangup.
Oh God, if you are there,
Please let someone take this crying baby off my hands
And let my feet dance once more.
I am so old. And I was never young.

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"Pretty Good"

There was once a pretty good student,
Who sat in a pretty good class
And was taught by a pretty good teacher,
Who always let pretty good pass.

He wasn't terrific at reading;
He wasn't a whiz-bang at math;
But for him education was leading
Straight down a pretty good path.

He didn't find school too exciting,
But he wanted to do pretty well,
And he did have some trouble with writing,
And nobody had taught him to spell.

When doing arithmetic problems,
Pretty good was regarded as fine;
Five and five needn't always add to be 10,
A pretty good answer was nine.

The pretty good student was happy
With the standards that were in effect,
And nobody thought it was sappy
If his answers were not quite correct.

The pretty good class that he sat in
Was part of a pretty good school,
And the student was not an exception;
On the contrary, he was the rule.

The pretty good school that he went to
Was right there in a pretty good town.
And nobody there ever noticed
He could not tell a verb from a noun.

The pretty good student, in fact, was
A part of a pretty good mob.
And the first time he knew what he lacked was
When he looked for a pretty good job.

It was then, when he sought a position,
He discovered that life can be tough,
And he soon had a sneaky suspicion
Pretty good might not be good enough.

The pretty good town in our story
Was part of a pretty good state
Which had pretty good aspirations
And prayed for a pretty good fate.

There once was a pretty good nation,
Pretty proud of the greatness it had,
But which learned much too late,
If you want to be great, ...
Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.

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Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Reading Ann Landers

You are responsible for your own happiness. No one can diminish your self-esteem unless you give them permission to do so.

People won't stay mad at you long if you can say: "I blew it amd I'll try to make amends."

When something is troubling you, tell people you trust instead of trying to cover it up. You'll be surprised to learn that they've been through something similar.

Don't pass up an opportunity to tell people you care about them. You may never get another chance.

Reserve judgment until you know all the facts. Even then, keep your mouth shut if no useful purpose is served by adding your two cents' worth.

Be grateful for your good health and the health of those you love. Be aware that without good health, wealth and success mean little.

If you enjoy your work and your life, you are rich. If you aren't happy with either, how can money help?

If you're having a rotten daym, don't take it out on others. Simply say, "This is a rotten day. Tomorrow is sure to be better." This attitude can save a lot of relationships.

Don't be afraid to try something you think you can't do.

There's no such thing as the perfect man or woman.

Look for the best over-all package of ambition, kindness, consideration, self-esteem and intelligence. Otherwise you'll spend your life alone.

Spend time with your children.

You can respect and learn from people even if you don't like them. You can learn something from everyone - because every person in the world knows something that you don't.

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"Housework"

You know, there are times when we happen to be
Just sitting there, quietly watching TV,
When the program we're watching will stop for a while
And suddenly someone appears with a smile,
And starts to show us how terribly urgent
It is to buy some brand of detergent,
Or soap or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach,
To help with the housework.

Now, most of the time it's a lady we see,
Who's doing the housework on TV.
She's cheerfully scouring a skillet or two,
Or she's polishing pots till they gleam like new,
Or she's scrubbing the tub or she's mopping the floors,
Or she's wiping the stains from the walls and the doors,
Or she's washing the windows, the dishes, the clothes,
Or waxing the furniture till it just glows,
Or cleaning the fridge or the stove or the sink,
With a light-hearted smile, and a friendly wink,
And she's doing her best to make us think
That her soap, or detergent or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach,
Is the best kind of soap, or detergent or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach,
That there is in the whole wide world.

And maybe it is, and maybe it isn't,
And maybe it does what they say it will do,
But I'll tell you one thing I know is true.
The lady we see when we're watching TV,
The lady who smiles as she scours or scrubs or rubs or washes or wipes or mops or dusts or cleans,
Or whatever she does on our TV screens,
That lady is smiling because she's an actress,
And she's earning money for learning those speeches
That mention those wonderful soaps and detergents and cleansers and cleaners and powders and pastes and waxes and bleaches.

So, the very next time you happen to be
Just sitting there quietly watching TV,
And you see some nice lady who smiles
As she scours or scrubs or rubs or washes or wipes or mops or dusts or cleans,
Remember, nobody smiles doing housework but those ladies you see on TV.
Your mommy hates housework,
Your daddy hates housework,
I hate housework too.
And when you grow up, so will you.
Because even if the soap or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach
That you use is the very best one,
Housework is just no fun.

Children, when you have a house of your own,
Make sure, when there's house work to do,
That you don't have to do it alone.
Little boys, little girls, when you're big husbands and wives,
If you want all the days of your lives
To seem sunny as summer weather,
Make sure, when there's housework to do,
That you do it together!

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Golden Rules for Living

1. If you open it, close it.
2. If you turn it on, turn it off.
3. If you unlock it, lock it up.
4. If you break it, fix it.
5. If you can't fix it, call in someone who can.
6. If you borrow it, return it.
7. If you value it, take care of it.
8. If you make a mess, clean it up.
9. If you move it, put it back.
10. If it belongs to someone else and you want to use it, get permission.
11. If you don't know how to operate it, leave it alone.
12. If it's none of your business, don't ask questions.
13. If it doesn't concern you, don't mess with it.
14. If it will brighten someone's day, say it.
15. If it will tarnish someone's reputation, keep it to yourself.

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"The Paradox of Our Time"

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrow viewpoints. We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We have higher incomes, but lower morals; we have more food, but less appeasement.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. We've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; big men and small characters; steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorces; fancier houses but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and time when you can choose either to share this insight, or just hit Delete.

Remember to spend more time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember to say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person will soon grow up and leave your side.

Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure that you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember to say "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, and mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment, for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

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

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Quotable Quotes

I stand FIRM in my belief of what's right! I REFUSE to compromise my principles! ... I don't NEED to compromise my principles, because they don't have the slightest bearing on what happens to me anyway.
-- Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

If you're going to do something, do it right the first time.
-- Mike Holmes, general contractor

I don't think much of our profession, but, contrasted with respectability, it is comparitively honest.
-- Pirate King, The Pirates of Penzance

I'm really very sorry for you, but it's an unjust world. Virtuosity is triumphant only in theatrical performances.
-- The Mikado, The Mikado

She's so extremely ... likely to win, that it's hardly worth while finishing the game.
-- Alice, Alice in Wonderland

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?
-- Scrooge, A Christmas Carol

In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks.
-- Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

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