Wisdom comes from unexpected places

Sometimes the best life wisdom comes from the most unexpected places. And today mine came from K-Mart.
Rushing as I was to grab a few items and check out fast, it’s a wonder my ears were even working. And I still don’t know who wrote the first song or who sang it. But the wisdom . . . well, that was there when I needed it.
“Life is short . . .” the singer crooned, and I missed what followed because I was already deep into thinking about just how short life really is–and how important it is to make the most of every day.
Especially, this side of 60.
And then Kenny Rogers broke in with his advice from “the gambler” about knowing when to hold them. Knowing when to walk away. And knowing when to run.
When it comes to life wisdom, you simply can’t afford to be a snob. Socrates or Kenny Rogers. Gibran’s “The Prophet” or the musical “South Pacific.” Truth is still truth, wisdom is still wisdom. And the wisdom I needed today came from songs.
It’s so hard sometimes to know when to let go in life and when to hold on. And even harder to have the courage to do what we know is right.
Negative people, and negative thoughts. Jobs that don’t work. Flowers that won’t grow. And dreams that prove false. Things like that can make our lives miserable. But still, it takes enormous courage to change the patterns.
Maybe we’re afraid to let go of things that don’t work because we’re not sure what we’ll replace them with. There’s safety in the known–even if it makes us unhappy. And we’re so often uncertain about how to define the future.
We could learn a lot about moving on to new things and discovering new dreams from Bloody Mary in “South Pacific.” “Talk about the things you like to do,” said Mary. “Happy talk,” she called it.
“You’ve got to have a dream,” she sang. Because “if you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”
We can learn a lot from a song like that because new dreams aren’t just for young people, you know. They’re for anyone who’s alive. And a wonderful place to begin defining a life dream is by talking about the things you like to do. Maybe even writing down the things that make you feel good.
What would you do if you had all the time and money in the world? What’s the one thing–or two things–you want to be sure to get done before you die? When have you had the most fun in your life and what would you like most to repeat?
Whom do you envy? And why?
How would you change your life if you have it all to live over again? Just try answering some of those questions. You might be surprised at the wisdom you’d find in your “happy talk.”
But one thing is sure just as Blood Mary said, “If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”
It’s a lifetime task–this searching for a wisdom. And only you know which songs and poems and books can speak to your soul–and help you find your dreams.
A Polynesian woman. An anonymous song writer. A famous country western singer. When it comes to wisdom, the source doesn’t make much difference.
So think about it today. What life wisdom do you need? And where might you be able to find it?

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