A couple of days ago I gave a talk to a seniors organisation, about 50 persons. As part of a collection of materials and items given to each person, I included some laminated book marks. It was my thinking that people of those senior years did not need to be given an inspirational quotation, they have lived the adversity and sorrows, the fact that they were here for the address showed that they were still running their races. Instead, the bookmarks contained Omer B Washington's work "I've Learned". I don't know who he was or anything about him, apart from the following item. It makes a lot of sense and I mentally imagined each of the elderly attendees at my talk nodding their heads as they read Omer's advice. I have posted it before but it is worth reposting, here it is.
I've learned that you cannot make someone love you.
All you can do is be someone who can be loved.
The rest is up to them.
I’ve learned that no matter how much I care,
some people just don’t care back.
And it’s not the end of the world.
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust,
and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life,
but who you have in your life that counts.
I’ve learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes.
After that, you’d better know something.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do,
but to the best you can do.
I’ve learned that it’s not what happens to people,
It’s what they do about it.
I’ve learned that no matter how thin you slice it,
there are always two sides.
I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words.
It may be the last time you see them.
I’ve learned that you can keep going
long after you think you can’t.
I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done
When it needs to be done
regardless of the consequences.
I’ve learned that there are people who love you dearly,
but just don’t know how to show it.
I’ve learned that sometimes when I’m angry I have the right to be angry,
but that doesn’t give me the right to be cruel.
I’ve learned that true friendship continues to grow even over the longest distance.
Same goes for true love.
I’ve learned that just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to
doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.
I’ve learned that no matter how good a friend is,
they’re going to hurt you every once in a while
and you must forgive them for that.
I’ve learned that it isn’t always enough to be forgiven by others.
Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
I’ve learned that no matter how bad your heart is broken,
the world doesn’t stop for your grief.
I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are,
but we are responsible for who we become.
I’ve learned that just because two people argue, it doesn’t mean that they don’t love each other.
And just because they don’t argue, it doesn’t mean they do.
I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put the individual
ahead of their actions.
I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing
and see something totally different.
I’ve learned that no matter the consequences,
those who are honest with themselves get farther in life.
I’ve learned that your life can be changed in a matter of hours
by people who don’t even know you.
I’ve learned that even when you think you have no more to give,
when a friend cries out to you,
you will find the strength to help.
I’ve learned that writing, as well as talking,
can ease emotional pains.
I’ve learned that the people you care most about in life
are taken from you too soon.
I’ve learned that it’s hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice
and not hurting people’s feelings and standing up for what you believe.
I’ve learned to love and be loved.
- Omer B Washington