Thursday, October 18, 2007

Advice from My 98-Year-Old Self

Tonight's Guest Speaker is Bart, aged 98, who decided to drop in (briefly, you understand--it was late and past his bed time) to pass on some advice to his younger self.

I'll keep this short, because I know you have a short attention span: slow down. My joints are aching because you spent so much time running around with your hair on fire as if you were so damned important and everything you did was a matter of life and death. Get over yourself, Junior: you weren't, and it wasn't.

Next: shut up. Listen. For God's sake--and your own--take the time to listen to what other people are really saying. As a bonus, pause to think, decide if you really need to say what you were gonna say, and then, if necessary, say it.

Finally: take the time to love people back. You think that sounds easy. It isn't. I've watched myself these past 60 years, and I let a lot of joy pass me by because I thought I was too busy for it or because I didn't think the other person was worth taking the time for. Someone might read what you wrote, but the people you actually lived and spent time with--those are the ones who will truly remember you.

Now: can you fetch me a beer before I go back to the future? It's too damn polluted in this decade.

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