There appears to be a common experience among people who turn fifty. They like to be introspective and list the things they have learned in their half century of living. I am no different, so here is my list.
My list is in no particular order of importance. Some are borrowed and some are my own, or at least tweaked to my own way of thinking.
1. Listen twice as much as you speak.
2. Take responsibility for your actions – it will quickly separate you from the crowd.
3. Pursue your God-given passion.
4. In crisis and conflict, always take the time to think and act strategically.
5. There is always a third way.
6. I should have embraced those naps when I was younger.
7. I am my own worst enemy.
8. I use to believe the notion that is it easier to get forgiveness than permission. I don’t anymore.
9. Can’t never could, and won’t never will.
10. Envy is an ugly sin.
11. Pity is a dead end street.
12. God often speaks to me through my wife, but I should have never told her that.
13. What you think about your future is more important to your success than what you think about your past.
14. Commitment precedes resources.
15. Value those who are willing to tell you the truth.
16. Fear of failure is the greatest of all fears and the most deadly.
17. Jesus really is the way, the truth and the life.
18. Be quick to say “thank you” and “I’m sorry” and be sure you mean it.
19. Transparency has limits.
20. People fall, things fail. Get over it.
21. Calm down.
22. Not every problem is bad and not every opportunity is good.
23. Poverty is cultural.
24. There are more people going to heaven than the Pentecostals think but not as many as the Baptist think.
25. Don’t buy good furniture (or good anything) until the children have moved out of the house.
26. Learn everything you can about money – how to earn it, save it, invest it, spend it, and give it away.
27. “I” before “e” except after c.
28. This is a building, it has a steeple, they call it a church because inside is God’s people.
29. There are some things you should hate.
30. God loves you. Never doubt that.
31. “Quality time” with your children only happens if there is “quantity of time” in the home.
32. You cannot protect your children from everything harmful thing…but you should still try.
33. Call the waitress and cashier by name. They’ll have a better day and you get better service.
34. What would you do if money was not an object and you knew that you could not fail? That is what you should be doing with your life.
35. Sincerity is a fine art.
36. Never co-sign on a loan.
37. Everything rises and falls on leadership.
38. A happy marriage is one in which each partner thinks they got a better partner than they deserved.
39. Complain only when it really matters.
40. Don’t waste time on fools.
41. It is not bragging if you can really do it.
42. A mental health day should count as a sick day at work.
43. Fairness inspires loyalty.
44. There are no such things as coincidence.
45. Not everything old is out of date.
46. Everything has a shelf life.
47. Pain is an excellent teacher.
48. Sociology should be a required course.
49. Perspective and Balance are the keys to happiness.
50. “And” appears more often in the Bible than “or.”
Of course, Straight Talk is more than this list of life lessons. It is an attempt to get all of us to reconsider what we are thinking and doing as a society. Our culture is is deep trouble. Most aware and concerned adults know something is wrong. Straight Talk, in all of its venues, is an attempt to address the issues confronting us in a straight forward and honest way.