Words of wisdom?

Here are a few random things I have learned over the years:

Just because a car has its turn signal on doesn’t mean it’s going to turn; just because the turn signal isn’t on doesn’t mean it won’t.

People who fall on hard times do one of two things; they either give up or fight.

Being kind is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

The older you get, the easier it is to speak your mind.

It’s no fun being around people with closed minds.

Laughter is the best exercise for body, mind, and soul.

Wearing a smile does more for your looks than wearing makeup.

Inner beauty is more lasting and more important than outer beauty.

Freedom and liberty are not the same thing.

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

You can’t have freedom and security – pick one.

It’s becoming harder and harder to have a rational discussion with someone whose mind is made up.

A day without laughter is like a day without sunshine.

Gratitude shouldn’t just be for the good things in life; we should be grateful for the bad, too, because those are the times that refine us and make us think about who we are and what is important to us.

Are you a follower?

Do you follow certain people whose opinions you value? Do you take their opinions and beliefs as your own? If so, it’s time to examine your beliefs and opinions. Look at how you formed those opinions and beliefs.

Some of us are told what to think and do it gladly; some of us are told what to think and reactively take the opposite side; but some of us examine those thoughts and formulate our own. I believe that only by examining all sides of an issue can we truly arrive at a belief or opinion. It is too easy to just parrot what someone else has said or written. And it’s too easy in this internet age to read only opinions that agree with our own. That is the best way I know to become narrow-minded.

Try listening to people who disagree with you; really listen. I find that too many people don’t know how to listen. Active listening means hearing what the person is saying, observing their body language, and absorbing what they say. It doesn’t mean sort of listening while you’re thinking about what your response will be.

The art of thoughtful debate has been lost somewhere along the way; we are too quick to dismiss someone else’s opinion if it doesn’t match our own. Only by listening to everyone’s opinion can we learn and grow.

Try it for a while!