Thursday, January 25, 2007


I've been tagged by Penny, over at C O A H T R, to participate in this meme, all about lessons I might have learned in my life, and from whom. I don't know. . . Have I really learned any lessons from anyone? Let me think:

The best lesson my Mother taught me:

My mother taught me to roll with the punches, that whining is counter-productive and stupid, and to be fair and honest.

The best lesson my Father taught me:

My father taught me (by example, for he was a man of few words,) that class has nothing to do with social status or wealth. It is how you live your life.

The best lesson my sibling(s) taught me:

My sister taught me equilibrium, for she has always been unshakable in the face of adversity.

My brother taught me to listen more, especially to people who don't say much, because they often have more depth than the chatterers.

The best lesson a teacher taught me:

An English teacher, in grade eleven, encouraged me to write as a means of self-expression and catharsis.

The best lesson that a boss taught me:

By example, several bosses taught me that yelling and bullying as management tools are ineffective. I never listened to them, and suspected that if I engaged in the same behaviour when managing my own employees, no-one would listen to me either.

The best lesson that a friend taught me:

A female friend, when I was about fourteen years old, showed me the pleasures of intelligent discourse. We would converse for hours, on every conceivable topic, and would eschew gossip which, as George Harrison so aptly put it, is The Devil's Radio.

The best lesson that a girlfriend taught me:

I not only learned this lesson, I re-learned it, whether I wanted to or not, over and over again from several girlfriends: They would say, in some fashion or another, something like "I love you madly because you are strong, and because you stand tall for your principles and beliefs." Then, they would do everything possible to weaken me, so I could be moulded into a perfect eunuch.

I don't think their attempts worked, do you?

The best lesson my child(ren) taught me:

My son has shown me that there is at least one other person on this globe of ours who is as stubborn as I am. I hope it serves him as well as it has me.

The best lesson I didn't know I was learning at the time.

When I was broke and hungry, when I was being stolen from and lied to, when I worked sixteen hours a day to survive, I didn't realize that my strength of will, and my resilience and determination were being fortified, and that I would be better for the experiences.

The best lesson I ever happened upon while reading:

When I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, I learned that there were others like me, people who valued the individual more than the collective, and who realized that freedom means personal responsibility.

The lesson I may have taught to others:

That would be up to them to determine, but I hope that it might include to be steadfast, consistent and fair.

The most valuable lesson I've learned, over all:

Every individual human being is responsible for his or her life and what is done with it. If anyone else has any part to play in their personal success or failure, it is merely peripheral, and therefore they can neither be blamed and punished for the failure, nor lauded and rewarded for the success.

So, I guess I have learned a few things in life, after all. Amazing.


  1. Very interesting! I think I'll swipe this. :)



  2. Wow. You never fail to rise to the occassion.

    Great answers, Atavist. Not that I should be surprised.

    Class and equilibrium ~ Love those.

    Interesting. These lessons that have come from others which you have chosen to assimilate and which you value highest all share the common denominators of virtue and fortitude, proving your answer to your most valuable lesson learned.

    I am going to keep everyone's lists for my refridgerator - my wall of blog fame.

  3. Your thoughts on "a lesson I didn't know I was learning at the time" reminds me of the principle that what is intended for evil often turns out for good. If one has the strength to overcome.

    I like your lesson from Ayn Rand too, those ideas from her are obvious when I read them, but I came away with the main idea that nothing surpasses excellence. And, somehow, she made selfishness sound like a good thing.

  4. I forgot to add another lesson I leaqrned, from the keyboard player in my band in the sixties: "Nole Urinare Conta Ventum."*

    That may be the most important lesson of all.

    *Never pee against the wind.