Contact the author:
tuppennyprofet - at - aol - dot - com
(translate into a real email address)
And A Few Universal Rules for Living
We like to think of ourselves as these terribly complex creatures with all sorts of mysterious quirks and shadings.
Our imaginations are such that we do produce an incredibly confusing variety of sects, political systems, family structures, interest groups and even whole civilizations.
But the basic rules are fairly simple and straightforward and they apply to everybody.
To get ahead, keep plugging.
Failure is part of the game, so count on it, but learn from it as well so you don't do it the same way twice.
Discouragement is the enemy, not the competition.
And stay healthy. You have more control over this than you think. Sure, a lot of illness is unavoidable, so for heaven's sake don't deliberately do stuff which is liable to make you sick.
To get along, go along, making sure to prioritize what is important to you so you give up the least crucial stuff first and what makes you, you, last.
Define yourself, so you will know your starting point, your general direction and be able to judge if you are making progress.
Some indicators are easier to identify than others. That's one reason the pursuit of wealth is so popular. You can see the numbers getting larger.
[After a point an economically successful person has more money than he can sensibly use; down the line she may get more than she can possibly use. These milestones do not noticeably slow down the pursuit. The only thing that does is old age and loss of faculties; by which time a true fortune probably has an independent will and self-perpetuating life of its own.]
The important stuff is harder to keep track of: How many lives has a teacher turned toward the positive, productive side of civilization's ledger? How many otherwise unremarkable people have served simply as good examples? Sometimes you just have to have faith that you're on the right road...but it does no harm to check once in a while to identify your surroundings and make sure the wheels are still turning.
Learn as much as you can. Specialize if necessary (life is ridiculously finite) but not to the exclusion of outside influences which may provide needed diversion; or unexpectedly give you the key to the whole thing!
Most conflict is the result of ignorance. Try to find grounds for communication and understanding.
On the other hand, some people can't understand anything much subtler than a belt in the mouth. Them, if they insist, you belt in the mouth. (Ghandism doesn't work with people too dumb to understand the concept.)