Six Harsh Truths

Truths? Debatable. David Wong's crude essay "6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person" offers some rough-edged comments on how to make the best of life — a modern short-attention-span version of Arnold Bennett's 1923 How to Make the Best of Life, perhaps. Wong's manifesto, in the countdown order that he offers them:

   6. The World Only Cares About What It Can Get from You (not just being a nice guy)
   5. The Hippies Were Wrong (what you do matters more than what you "are")
   4. What You Produce Does Not Have to Make Money, But It Does Have to Benefit People
   3. You Hate Yourself Because You Don't Do Anything
   2. What You Are Inside Only Matters Because of What It Makes You Do
   1. Everything Inside You Will Fight Improvement

Well, maybe not "Truths". Certainly not "Six" given overlap and redundancy among the items. Definitely "Harsh" in their statement.

So upon rereading, Arnold Bennett did say it better, 90 years ago, when he observed among other suggestions:

I am far off old age, but old age is approaching daily. The terrors of old age are solitude, neglect, boredom, lack of suitable activity, utter dependence on others, and the consciousness of wasted opportunities, of having achieved less than one might have achieved. What am I doing now to destroy those terrors, or even to minimise them? Am I sufficiently providing for the final years? Am I keeping my old friendships in repair and constructing new ones? Am I, in the intervals of satisfying my greatest interest, creating minor interests which will serve me later? Am I digging my groove so deep that I shall never be able to climb out of it? Am I slacking?

Good thoughts, and not just in one's elder years ...

(cf. Optimist Creed (1999-04-16), What Is My Life? (1999-04-30), Bennett on Life (2000-03-09), Personal Energy (2000-12-08), Dear Diary (2001-03-19), Practical Productivity (2004-01-20), How To Succeed (2005-03-11), How to Win Friends and Influence People (2008-05-17), ...) - ^z - 2013-12-02