I will never forget — a great friend of mine talking me off a cliff of despair one time. It was a long time ago now. I wasn’t happy and in a situation that had dragged on — it was causing me pain.
He knew my sorry situation and said quietly —
“John, life is not a dress rehearsal.”
On hearing that sentence for the very first time I made a massive decision. Its impact lives with me to this day.
From that precise moment those 6 words made me think completely differently. About pretty much everything.
Perfect timing on lots of fronts. Well I was definitely stuck. I was just about old enough to get the importance of the idea and not old or stupid enough to think I was impervious to good counsel.
Such great lines of advice have become the cornerstones of my life.
They seem to not only sum up my life but speak to the challenges each of us have when dealing with each other — and with society as a whole.
Walks Of Life
I think most of us have real problems with our individual perceptions and expectations.
Seeming entitlement and judgement trips us up on everything. They get in our way — they stop us from thinking.
Not Everything Has To Make Sense
David Lynch put it sublimely. “I don’t know why people expect art to make sense. They accept the fact that life doesn’t make sense.”
After my ‘dress rehearsal’ experience I rekindled my self belief. I learned that nobody else could make a difference to my circumstances other than me. I could put that spirit to use — I could achieve what I wanted — if I could only channel that energy.
I Have Thrown Most Of My Energy Against Systemic Stupidity
“Sometimes you have to give up on people — not because you don’t care, but because they don’t care.” — Unknown
“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”— Franz Kafka
“Dear parents: if your religion makes you think your child is worthless, it’s time to reject the religion, not the child.” — Unknown
I don’t do well with our institutions or governments.
They seem to be inhabited by ordinary people with ordinary ideas destined to suck the creativity out of everyone — anti difference, anti individually.
They are most definitely the enemy of our times.
“I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.” — Joshua Graham
“The enemy is every expert who practices technocratic manipulation, the enemy is every proponent of standardization and the enemy is every victim who is so dull and lazy and weak as to allow himself to be manipulated and standardized.” — Tom Robbins
Our (my anyway) courage and determination to deal with all the stupidity around us manifests itself in appearing to be patient with it. While dealing with each example in a whole heap of different ways.
“Whatever life takes away from you, let it go.” — Miguel Ruiz
Each tactic that fails (in one situation) may well win in another. A fuck head is always a fuck head but each one has his own unique half life. (Or should that be pond?)
It’s Always Been About Being Oneself — Against All The Odds
“Reinvent new combinations of what you already own. Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step.”— Karl Lagerfeld
“No one knows what you are going through, but you. People will judge you, talk about you, point fingers, blame you etc… Do what is in your heart. Walk your own path. Be your own person.
Their opinion of you is just their opinion. Ask yourself, “does it really matter what they think”? Never let anyone steal your joy.” — Unknown
“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view.”— Jack Kerouac
“Just remain in the centre — watching. And then forget that you are there.” — Lao Tzu