book overview – LIFE 101
Let’s add a splash of color before we begin.
LIFE 101 Everything We Wish We Had Learned About Life In School – But Didn’t, by John-Roger and Peter McWilliams, copyright 1991 by Prelude Press, a Bantam-Prelude book, 400 pages (including Index).
The book is organized with brief quotes in large print on the left hand pages and text on the right hand pages. Thus, it is not really 400 pages of reading.
Wanting to write an essay on some of the contents of this book, I sought it in various parts of the house. It was not easily found. This book was finally located in the very last bookcase in the house – the one I had least expected it to be in. I feared that it was lost.
At first glance, you may think that this might just be another “self-help” book that only aging hippies would be interested in. But, it does contain much very practical advice and good insights.
This book challenges the reader. Sometimes we have to take a step outside of ourselves and look at how we are living our life, and what our priorities are – and question all this.
Here are a few things I took away from the book. Even our negative emotions and our bad, painful experiences can be teachers, can help us to become better people. It takes more character strength to love and forgive than to hate. Do not become a prisoner of your routines, or of your habitual ways of thinking.
Dear readers, make the most of your life’s journey, but try to spread love. The world is in so desperate need of love. Don’t wait for the world to become loving, you help make it so.
Enough of my thoughts.
We offer these 31 quotes in the hope that these may be helpful to at least a few readers. What is helpful, take with you. What is not, leave behind.
“Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.” Eugene S. Wilson (page 2)
“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” Marcel Proust (page 6)
“Seek not, my soul, the life of the immortals; but enjoy to the full the resources that are within thy reach.” Pindar 518 – 438 B.C. (page 14)
“We learn simply by the exposure of living. Much that passes for education is not education at all but ritual. The fact is that we are being educated when we know it least.” David P. Gardner (page 24)
“Man is slightly nearer to the atom than to the star. From his central position man can survey the grandest works of Nature with the astronomer, or the minutest works with the physicist.” Sir Arthur Stanley (page 48)
“The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.” Sir William Bragg (page 52)
“Some problems are just too complicated for rational, logical solutions. They admit of insights, not answers.” Jerome Wiesner (page 56)
“The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.” Mark Russell (page 56)
“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.” William Saroyan (page 64)
“The last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Viktor Frankl (page 92)
The voice of the turtle-dove speaks out. It says: “Day breaks, which way are you going?”
“Lay off, little bird, must you so scold me? I found my lover on his bed, and my heart was sweet to excess.”
Love Songs of The New Kingdom. 1550 – 1080 B.C. (page 124)
“When an emotional injury takes place, the body begins a process as natural as the healing of a physical wound. Let the process happen. Trust that nature will do the healing. Know that the pain will pass and, when it passes, you will be stronger, happier, more sensitive and aware.” HOW TO SURVIVE THE LOSS OF A LOVE (page 130)
“See golden days, fruitful of golden deeds, with Joy and Love triumphing.” John Milton, 1667 A.D. (page 146)
“Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” Oscar Wilde (page 158)
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” James Joyce (page 158)
This next quote is worth remembering!
“Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can be recalled and perhaps remedied.” Pearl S. Buck (page 164)
On regret, sorrow, loss, guilt, remorse . . . .
“Whenever he thought about it, he felt terrible. And so, at last, he came to a fateful decision. He decided not to think about it.” No credit given. (page 176)
“Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.” Francis Bacon, 1625 A.D. (page 188)
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” Robert Byrne (page 212)
“Who begins too much accomplishes little.” German Proverb (page 226)
“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.” Victor Hugo, 1862 (page 236)
“Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.” Carl Jung (page 270)
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.” Helen Keller (page 296)
“From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents,
from 18 to 35 she needs good looks,
from 35 to 55 she needs a good personality,
and from 55 on she needs cash.”
Sophie Tucker (p 302)
“Money-giving is a very good criterion of a person’s mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally ill people.” Dr. Karl A. Menninger (page 312)
“A friend is a gift you give yourself.” Robert Louis Stevenson (page 314)
“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” Mark Twain (page 332)
“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” George Burns (page 348)
“Learn the art of patience.
Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal.
Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure.
Patience creates confidence, decisiveness and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.”
Brian Adams (page 352)
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung (page 368)
“First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.” Thomas a Kempis, 1420 A.D. (page 372)
We have some creative writing mixed with some hardcore reality coming up in future essays.