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Things I’ve learned 

The Way I See It

April 1, 2011
By John Sheda
Next October, I will reach a huge milestone. The big “6-0.” Yep, my I.Q. and age will be exactly the same.  Ten years over the mid-century mark. Geeeeesh! You think I coulda’ learnt somethin’ don’t ya? Well, haruumph, I did and I’m here to share a few things I’ve picked up over the years 

I have learned that attitude is everything. It’s not what happens to me that really matters but what happens to what happens to me that counts. Or another way of putting it, it’s what happens IN me that counts. Ever hear of Viktor Frankl? He spent several years badly mistreated in a Nazi Concentration Camp. And he lived to talk of his ordeal. 

Here was his philosophy that kept him alive. It would do us well to adhere to it as well. “God chooses what we go through but we get to choose how we go through it,”  was the attitude Mr. Frankl had. His words to his tormentors have inspired millions of people.

He said, “The one thing you cannot take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me.  The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” What an amazing statement. 

With that, here are some other things I’ve learned over the past (gulp) half-century:

•That the most important things in life are not things.  It’s not what I have, but who I have that counts.

•There is a universal law called “sowing and reaping.” Farmers and gardeners know this so very well but it is true of everything in life. Try it. Smile and greet everyone with a gregarious greeting and see the results.

•That real heroes are not the movie and sports stars, but the Veterans, Teachers, Policemen, Firemen, Doctors, Nurses, etc. etc. etc.

•That being a grandparent is truly a joy in and of itself. Being a grandparent is God’s reward for not killing your kids when they were teenagers!!!!!

•That you should choose your words carefully because you may just have to eat them at a later date.

•That ignoring facts does not make them go away.

•That one of our inalienable rights is the pursuit of happiness. That means smiling, laughing, gawfawing, snorting and even having tears run down your face ‘cuz of your happiness. Enjoy life.

•That life certainly can and will be tough, but that each one of us can be a lot tougher.

•That I wished I had told my mom and dad I loved them more often. 

•That words like “I’m sorry; please; thank you; excuse me; and I forgive you” are pretty good words to use from time to time.

•That a card or letter or even a personal email may be just what someone you care about needs—RIGHT NOW. So stop reading this and send an email or better yet a real, live letter or card with a stamp on it. You will make that person’s day, guaranteed.

•That when all is said and done, more will be said then done.

•That family is the cornerstone of civilization.  Today, tell each family member that you love them. Do it before it’s too late. ‘Cuz you just never know!!

•That if you’re having a difficult time making a decision—-go with your heart. It’s seldom wrong.

•And finally, I’ve learned that maybe, just maybe, “The Hokey-Pokey is what it’s all about.”

Oh, I’ve learned a ton of other stuff like overdrafts are no fun, eating crow pie gets no better no matter how many times you eat it, stupid is as stupid does, getting the foot into the mouth is a lot easier than getting it back out, forgetting wedding anniversaries is a no-no and so much else but space prohibits me sharing my many, many mistakes. 

But “That’s The Way I See It.” 

Please email me at and let me know some things you’ve learned. You can call me at 319-334-4117 if you want also.  ust not much after ten, ok??????






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