Words from the wise

By Adam McArthur

On the eve of my third BSD, which has my liver scared senseless, I’d like to share a few lessons I have mostly learned the hard way. You won’t find them in any University of Calgary lecture.

I am without a younger apprentice in my life, but I would like to make sure that somebody has the chance to avoid the left-turns I make on a semi-regular basis. So without sounding like that "Grow" girl in the milk commercials, here come some third-year words of wisdom.

Don’t ask for guitar lessons from the kids on American Idol.

Sounds simple enough, but it is rarely practiced. Almost everyone has an area of expertise, but it serves you no purpose to take advice on a topic from someone who is clueless in that particular domain. Although their recommendations may be noble, they won’t make for good solutions.

Girls are wedding crazy.

Not all girls, of course, and only to varying degrees, but somewhere in their minds they are just itching to discuss, plan and pull off their perfect big day. I have a recent example from two of my favourite brides-in-the-making.

Burning up Highway 1 at 130 km/h gave them the chance to thoroughly discuss who they would not be inviting and why. They didn’t need a time or place, not even a groom for that matter. It is seldom spoken of in the company of males but, if they let their guard down, you can get a glimpse into a scary world of potential ushers and inappropriate buffet menus.

If you have the chance to travel through time, go forward not backward.

If movies have taught me any-thing, it is that changing the past has the potential to ruin the present. From Back to the Future to Time Cop, the road to hell has been proven to be paved with good intentions.

Don’t treat Mother Teresa like a two-dollar whore.

Nobody’s perfect. However, there is something awful about screwing over a person with a heart of gold. I don’t care what the reason, but nothing is gained from such tactics. I myself am not innocent of such an offence. Everyone knows someone who is just too thoughtful, generous or forgiving to hurt. We probably could use more people like them around.

No hero has ever been made at the expense of a saint.

Arena Football is not stupid.

It is just pointless.

Action is unpredictable. Lack of action is not.

Pick your favourite "No Fear" t-shirt or lame high school valedictorian speech and take it to heart. The message is often given but rarely heard.

I know exactly what will happen when I don’t try–nothing. I’ve been beaten over the head with this one repeatedly but I’ve failed to change my ways. Potential could be infinite if nerve was not an issue.

Too much beer is always better than not enough.

That’s a gimmie.

Perspective is friggin’ everything.

I can give you a list three pages long of bad things that have happened to me. You probably could too. At the same time, I would say that I have a pretty good life so far. If we didn’t think about the good times, we would be clamouring for a spot atop the Calgary Tower to leap from. Make sure the important stuff is covered and you keep your head in the game.

I suppose that’s all. I wish twenty-odd years had a bit more to show for it, but I’m glad I’ve learned what I have up to this point. I hope maybe you picked up a hint or two. It’s not always a bad move to show your cards to the person across the table.

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