July 2, 2008
Bumper stickers wake-up calls
Recently, a bumper sticker with the following message caught my attention: "Age and treachery overcome youth and enthusiasm."
Maybe, for those of us who have made mistakes, having gray hair and wrinkles comes with the wisdom to avoid repeating too many of the same blunders.
Suddenly, my attention was drawn to brief - funny and sometimes challenging statements - that appear on moving vehicles. Three oxymoron bumper stickers hit home: "Adult male! Religious tolerance! Common sense!"
I am a male with faith who thinks that we humans too frequently behave irresponsibly, even silly. Guilty on all counts, way too often to make me proud.
"Cell phones don't annoy people; morons using cell phones annoy people." And, now it is against California law to use a hand-held phone while driving. This may not make everyone happy, but law enforcement officers have assured us that "phone-related distractions" will be decreased, and our driving safety will be improved.
"Closed minds always seem to be connected to open mouths." Listening carefully and sensitively to others and their perspectives is wise. Maybe that is why older folks often come across as more attentive and caring.
"The best things in life are not things." Precious relationships and memories count for quite a lot.
"No pressure, no diamonds." The easy way seldom leads to easy street.
"Real success depends not on how fast you can climb, but on how high you can bounce." Disappointment is quite often a byproduct of striving for excellence. Getting up time and again, while learning from mistakes, is part of the continuous-improvement process.
"God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage." Stay the course and keep the faith.
"To make your prayers come true, you have to get off your knees."
"Be willing to give up what you are for what you can become." Growth and change require risk. After all, it is true that "Fear is temporary. Regret is forever."
"Those who discourage your dreams likely have abandoned their own."
"What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" In the final analysis: "The worst failure is the failure to try!"
"Friendship is not blind; it just knows when to close its eyes."
"Kindness is difficult to give away because it is usually returned."
"God, grant me patience, now!" My personal expectation was that with age would come patience, but such has not yet been my experience. So, for the foreseeable future, my efforts will be redoubled to leave my place in the world better than I found it.
"Integrity has no need for rules. Athletics (or read competition) does not build character, it reveals it."
Character is what we do when no one is watching.