Timeless wisdom and a happy ending
February 10, 2010
Sometimes there's not much to say and other times someone just says it better.
This is one of both of those times.
I ran the following last year and received all sorts of comments from readers—all of them said they liked it very much. Too bad I can't take credit.
What follows are the words of the late great George Carlin. Along with being hilarious, he was a very thoughtful man. I notice that's the case with people who are funny. Their unexpected poignancy when it comes to approaching life and all of its turmoil and wonder is surprising, but really shouldn't be.
Anyhow, I when I read this brutally honest perspective it boosts me up, especially at the ending. Regardless of how many times I re-read it, the effect is still the same. It's awesome. Here it is, again just in time to prevent me from writing something that does no good:
"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy 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 too angry, 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 neighbor. 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 build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
"These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, 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 a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...
"Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.
"Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
"Remember to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure 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, but most of all 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.
"If you don't send this to at least 8 people.....Who cares?"
I'm quite certain I can't top that...
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Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.