A Grandfather’s Advice
Stuart B. Thorn
My Dear Grandchildren,
At Nicholas’s suggestion I am distilling a selection of my thoughts, beliefs and I hope some accumulated wisdom plus some reputable philosophy quotes before it is too late, and I go to be reunited with your Grandma.
Much of what I have to say can be expanded by searching the subject on the Internet
You may disagree with some of my comments, that is good, you are individuals not clones, you have all been liberally educated and so taught to think for yourselves. But if you disagree be prepared to argue your corner if challenged.
There isn’t any logical order in this booklet I put my words down as they came to me. Looking at the subjects dealt with I would find it difficult to create chapters from the mass and complex material. So read it as it comes.
AS YOU LIKE IT
A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare
JAQUES: All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the bard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
It seems to be a fact of life these days that you see lots of your grandparents up to being a teenager, and then the frequency falls of exponentially. That to me is sad. For the one thing grandparents have to give the young, is time. Something many parents lack, just when their off-spring need their guidance the most.
In the general scheme of things I believe that first and foremost you must put your family first; if married your partner and children, otherwise your parents. They will each have made, or will make mistakes in your eyes, but then so will you. The trouble with mistakes is that we can all be wise in retrospect, it is best if we can avoid the mistakes in the first place. In the tailoring and carpentry trade there is a maxim, measure twice and cut once. We should apply that to our lives, think twice and act once.
After your immediate family ones loyalty is to the country affording you residence. Firstly you should always vote in elections, democracy is a fragile concept and once lost will be difficult to regain, so eternal vigilance is necessary to ensure its preservation. To quote Sir Winston Churchill, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”
Whatever problems you may have, remember there are others worse off than you. To that end I believe we should all aim to give some time to relieving the distress in others.
We start our education the day we are born and hopefully finish it the day we die. Remember we learn through each of our senses. Seeing, Hearing, Smell, Taste and Touch. We can believe most of what we see, but need to treat with caution what we hear; our sense of smell is usually a reliable guide as is taste and touch.
Relationships are formed usually on the basis of sight, and believe it or not smell. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and isn’t universally the same. Different races have different ‘tastes’, a person who is attractive to a Caucasian isn’t usually to an Indian, Chinese or Polynesian, this often as a result of body size and smell.
Love is a hard to define emotion. To me it is a mutual attraction which is so strong that separation is so painful that it leaves you feeling incomplete and empty. If parting brings you to tears, if you feel protective beyond what is normal the chances are that you are in love. If it isn’t reciprocated it could be an obsession. When you are in love, football, surfing, and skiing come a poor second. Love isn’t sex, though sex is usually though not necessarily part of love. A word of warning if your partner says NO to sex it means no and is not a come on.
Whilst on the subject of sex, remember good sex is when you please your partner, good sex comes with practice. Sex may be a natural act but it is learnt, not instinctive. Remember you are not God’s gift to women, even you need to learn. Discuss what is and what is not acceptable in sex, and abide by your agreement.
In life we meet any people some we quickly take to, others don’t make the same lasting impression. This is particularly the case with the opposite sex. Eye contact that lasts that bit longer the normal can imply interest. Don’t go for corny chat up lines. Don’t spend your time talking about yourself, be interested in your companion, by asking about their interests, see if they are similar to yours, and answer any questions asked of you truthfully. Keep using eye contact to gauge the level of interest. If the other person hasn’t made a move to break the chat after say five or so minutes then it could be time to consider a date. Don’t rush the developing friendship; your aim is to establish whether it is likely that a sustainable relationship is likely. Are you simpatico? Once you have established that you are simpatico, then it is case of widening the relationship, meeting each other’s friends, meeting their family. It is said that a girl is likely to look like her mother when she reaches the same age, does that faze you? I suppose the same could apply to father and son. Then it is a case of “faint heart never won fair maiden”.
Marriage is for life; never enter into it with any other idea. Children should be born into a happy home with a loving mother and a loving father. Anything else is inferior. They should be brought up with each parent contributing to their education until they are old enough to branch out on their own. Even then a parents responsibility are not complete, you still have wisdom to impart, and will be useful as a mentor, baby sitter or a laundry maid for many years to come.
Children are a natural adjunct to marriage, but they do cause a change in your relationship with your partner, this is a change that needs to be understood and allowed for if problems are to be avoided.
New Zealand has the third worst record of child abuse in the world that is a national disgrace. There is no excuse for this behaviour. What I can say is the offenders are lucky I am not the one handing down the punishment.
Babies are of necessity the first consideration of mothers; this can upset the father who may feel his conjugal rights are being unfairly withheld. Understand this before it becomes an issue. Until the baby is weaned and the mother can get a decent night’s sleep life will be far from normal. If the father can carry some of the night time burden it will help the relationship to get back to some resemblance of normality quicker
You will have squabbles and arguments; just don’t let the sun go down on the argument, in fact never go to work or separate until the issue is resolved. Think how you would feel if something happened that prevented you from ever making up. In particular always aim to kiss and make up before going to bed. Remember you are now a nuclear family, your of parents should never be allowed to interfere.
Important decisions, where to live, number of children, care of children, are questions best discussed before commitment.
One thing that infuriates the females of the species is males who leave the toilet seat up. Be warned.
There is no excuse for striking your partner. Violence is the refuge of bullies and those who can’t debate out a problem. If you are so wild as to do or say something you will regret later, walk away and cool down.
Money is a big source of domestic strife. If you decide to buy a house don’t over commit yourselves. It is fine having a large mortgage whilst both are working, but what happens when babies arrive? Can you still manage on one salary? The key to everything is PLANNING. There is no substitute for sitting down with pen and paper and writing out your goals and dreams. Rome wasn’t built in a day so don’t expect to have all your that parents have immediately, just prioritise. Try to avoid Hire Purchase, it is an insidious burden.
In the old days of my youth (1950s) you were only allowed a mortgage of one third of the man’s salary, anything the wife earned was disregarded. With house prices what they are today that can no longer apply, but caution should. Start small and grow as circumstances permit.
In marriage there shouldn’t be ‘my money’ and ‘your money’, it is best to get into the habit of considering it ‘our money’. Let the one best qualified manage it. I always let your Grandma manage ours. Often I didn’t even bother to carrying any. That led to a few embarrassing moments, but that is another story.
It is a common maxim amongst mothers ‘that no girl is good enough for her son’, and fathers are equally as possessive of their daughters. So beware. A girl should cultivate a good relationship with her prospective mother in law, and the boy should likewise go out of his way to do likewise with the father.
If I have given the impression that parents should be kept at arm’s length I didn’t mean to. Extended families are important and a close relationship should be maintained especially once there are children. Some of my happiest memories are of occasions with the extended family.
Once married you may find emotions getting the upper hand, this is very much the case during pregnancy. Hormonal changes in the female body can create chaos, so beware. The interests of the male of the species are subordinate to the interests of the baby at this time. Children are a natural outcome of most marriages and it is natural to welcome them.
All babies are beautiful to their mothers, even though to their fathers they may look like dried prunes, but woe betides the father who suggests this; so you need to say the right thing. At this stage the most important thing is that the mother and baby are healthy. The father’s task is to spread the good news, not go out on a booze up with his mates.
It can be a dangerous time in a marriage, so it needs to be handled with great care by both parties.
In this day and age it is possible to settle upon a timing of when to have children; my advice is don’t leave it too late. As you get older it gets more risky, you are less adaptable, less tolerant and the expensive phase of their upbringing could coincide with your retirement.
Be careful when choosing a name for your child, he or she will have to spend a lifetime living with it. Personally I prefer names that can’t be made into diminutives, such as John and Mary.
Wives need to remember that their husbands are little boys in long trousers and treat them as such.
Whilst on the subject of children answer their questions truthfully and as fully as their age permits them to understand, but don’t deprive them of their childhood. Santa Claus and Tooth Fairies are an integral part of childhood.
Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive—not aggressive—manner is the healthiest way to express anger. To do this, you have to learn how to make clear what your needs are, and how to get them met, without hurting others. Being assertive doesn't mean being pushy or demanding; it means being respectful of yourself and others.
When driving remember that where you expect to have the right of way you only have it if the other driver gives it to you. It is a good maxim to consider every other road user an idiot and to drive accordingly.
It is illegal to drink and drive, what is more it is downright stupid, so never drive after more than two drinks and don’t be a passenger in a car where the driver has had more than two drinks. Plan ahead for any night out so someone is sober enough to drive otherwise take a taxi, it might be expensive but then so is the alternative.
White collar crime is just as wrong as blue collar crime. Working hours should be devoted to the interests of your employer.
Grief –so much has been written about this subject, I often wonder if the writers have had any personal experience of a sudden loss of a partner, parent or friend.
Elisabeth Kűbler Ross has written on the 5 stages of grief, other talk of 7 stages. What I can say is that the pain is like no other. People will say it takes a year to come to terms with your loss; others who have been through it say you never get over it.
The sudden bursting into tears, the headaches, the empty feeling in the stomach, the emptiness, and loneliness are just some of the features of grief. I also have trouble thinking coherently. I talk to Grandma several times a day. Before every action I think, what would Grandma want me to do. The house is arranged so that if she was ever to return it would be how she would want to find it.
Sooner or later we all experience Grief in some intensity or other, I have lost a sister, a son, as well as parents, all gave rise to some of the symptoms of grief, but nothing prepared me for the loss of Grandma.
If I could, I would give anything to prevent you from experiencing what I am going through.
Living away – when I was young we lived 4 miles from my Grandparents – they thought that was living away. I had one uncle who lived over 250 miles away and one who lived 140 miles away that in our family was unheard of. When Grandma and I got married we moved south to Fareham again some 250 miles from our respective homes. Whilst that was accepted because I was in the Royal Navy, Grandmas Mother tried to make us return to Leeds for the birth of our son. Her argument (seriously) was that being born in Hampshire would preclude him from ever being able to play cricket for Yorkshire. Trevor was born in Hampshire.
It is in the nature of man to travel, we are basically nomadic. We are ever in search of greener pastures. So our first consideration should be where are the best opportunities for us to make a home and a good life for our children. Next if all things are equal then it is better to live closer to the girl’s parents. This is less important today with the ease of travel, 60 years ago moving to the other side of the world meant saying a permanent goodbye to the family and friends that is no longer the case. You can get to most places in less than 30 hours. A move need not be permanent; you can always rethink your goals and objectives. Just remember your partner comes first before any family or other considerations. You are a new nuclear unit, much as I miss them the days of extended family are in the past.
Friendships are an interesting human relationship, one of the first sentences a child learns is, “Jo(e) is my friend. How long Jo(e) stays a friend is another matter. Probably the strongest bonds are formed in the late teens; that is when we are going through the silly season of our life. Once we are adults friendships move away from the Rugby club to the work environment, or some other mature organisation. Our friends now are generally colleagues from work who are similarly placed in the hierarchy. Another source of friends is our partner’s friends. Children open up a new avenue for friendships, meeting other parents at Plunket, the doctors or maternity classes. These often form the basis of your child’s first friendship. Many friendships fail through lack of maintenance. Others fail because people change. “He’s not the fun he used to be”. In other words he doesn’t want to come out and get drunk anymore. Or people move away create new lives for themselves. A sure way to break up a friendship is by lending or borrowing. If you don’t believe me lend a friend something and a couple of weeks later ask for it back and see what happens.
Sickness is when you are too ill to work or would be infectious to others. Throwing sickies is neither clever nor ethical.
A good maxim where conduct is under review is would my mother approve if she heard or witnessed it.
There is nothing wrong in each or either partner having outside interests which take them out with friends occasionally, just so long as it is mutually agreed, and what is good for the goose is also good for the gander and it is realised that marriage commitments come first.
When going out socially always dress up, never down, you can’t be wrong for over dressing but you can be embarrassed if you under dress. There is nothing worse than to see an immaculately turned out lady escorted by a scruffy male, one who didn’t bother to shave or to dress appropriately, and if you are visiting friends it is an insult to your hostess.
Treat all females as ladies, never mind PC it is a fad. Open doors for them, let them sit first, preferably when walking take the outside position.
A marriage can cost a fortune, is that what you want? Could the money be put to better use?
Generally try to ensure you jointly make decisions affecting your future.
Avoid separate beds.
Never go on separate holidays, it is the first slither into a marriage breakdown
A good maxim is to always be 5 minutes early for a meeting, either social or business. It is as easy to be 5 minutes early as it is to be 5 minutes late. The difference is respect.
Drugs are the refuge of idiots, don’t go there. Smoking is rapidly going out of fashion so there is less excuse for starting and every reason to stop.
A day is 24 hours long, 8 of those are for sleeping, 8 for working, and 8 improving the quality of your life, by learning, by helping others or in some other way that enhances your being.
Debt is a burden best avoided; it can create a downward spiral.
Always know the state of your finances and aim to live within your means.
Another good maxim to live by is – never a lender nor a borrower be – Many friendships are broken as a result of ignoring this truism.
Never pay up front for a service or item unless you use a credit card. There are thousands waiting for their drive to be resurfaced, plumbing or power points fixed.
The Ten Commandments in the Bible are as valid today as the day they were written. I recommend you learn them.
A brush with the Law may seem inconsequential but remember it could prevent you going to many countries on holiday.
Motor vehicles are a means of transport; they can if not properly maintained be a death trap. Never skimp on maintenance. If in doubt about something never take a car out.
Work is the right and duty of everyman. There isn’t any pride in being a bludger. The two certainties in life are taxes and death. Without taxes there wouldn’t be reticulated water, no sewerage and no law and order. Society as we know it wouldn’t exist. So never be ashamed of work no matter how menial it may be, just so long as it is honest. It used to be that on leaving school we trained for a job or profession which took us through to retirement, that is no longer the case, the speed of change means many will have to reskill, all will need to retrain some several times. Don’t be too complacent.
Savings; it used to be said one should save 10% of your income for retirement, few can achieve that figure. Even so one should be in a superannuation scheme if at all possible. Remember your days in retirement may be as many as your days in employment that is a long time to be poor. So plan ahead for retirement, there are many ways to do this, just make sure you find a way.
Some people don’t feel cut out for responsibility, that is fine, but for those who believe they could do a better job than those presently in charge should endeavour to rise through the hierarchy, that is the only way progress can be made. Most people don’t find the technical aspects of promotion daunting it is the management of staff. Here the maxim do unto others as you would have them do unto you applies. Never ask staff to do what you would baulk at.
We occasionally hear or read of people being found dead in their homes some long time after the occurrence. That is an indictment on society. We should all make a point of knowing our neighbours and be neighbourly. When new folk move in go round and introduce yourself, take a few muffins or whatever. Neighbourhood watch is a good organisation. You might need help one day, so be prepared to set an example and offer it to others.
As Health and Safety regulations continue to impact on the simplest of tasks we need to beware. You might be able to fit a new electrical socket, but the rules say you can’t. Check before venturing into the Do it Yourself world. In any case when something goes wrong switch off the power before investigating an electrical fault, close off the gas supply before touching a gas appliance. Likewise with water isolate the supply. There are many families lacking a parent who broke those rules. Ladders cause a disproportionate number of accidents, never venture up one when you are on your own. The golden rule with fires is - get the family out. Nothing is more important than that.
The Chinese believe in Ying and Yang, and they have good reason to, for it seems that for every good thing that happens there is a bad, sweet things should be balanced with sour, in other words life is a balanced mixture of opposites. Just as you think life is a bed of roses don’t be surprised if something goes wrong.
Try to make sure that every day counts, try to do something that is worthwhile even if it as simple as learning something.
The reason the females of the species are better household managers is because unlike a male they are gifted with the ability to multi task. That doesn’t exclude those of us who are male from doing our bit to help. So that needs to be factored in when deciding who does what.
Peer group pressure is usually something teenagers are exposed to, but it also applies in clubs, teams and other organisations. Whilst it can be a positive power more often than not it is negative and is best to be avoided. Better to be thought a wimp than to get into something you may live to regret.
It is better to dress in old, clean, pressed clothes with polished shoes than to be in scruffy designer clothes and dirty shoes.
If you want to be able to travel around the world either now or at some future time, remember that blots on your copy book can put a stop to that, either unpaid fines, court appearances all count against you in the USA and Australia to name but two counties.
When travelling overseas respect the culture and customs of the country. Many of their customs are foreign to out nature, this is particularly so in the Middle East and Moslem. If you think their ways could be a problem bypass the place and go elsewhere. In any case watch what locals do and say as much as you can.
Don’t carry too much money when travelling; rely on your credit cards. Keep important items in separate places, so that the loss of one thing doesn’t mean the loss of everything.
Not all of us are cut out to be in a managerial role for it invariably means moving from the technical skills to a more human resources management orientated occupation. For those who are game to take on more responsibility start honing up on the necessary skills as soon as you can.
It is good to remember that no race is innately evil. All races are a mixture of good and bad, (ying and yang).
Exercise is good for you, that’s a truism we are all aware of, but beware for too much exercise is both addictive and can be disruptive to a relationship and your health.
Learn to be questioning, because someone in authority says something it doesn’t make it necessarily true or fact. Learn to analyse critically.
Etiquette – Remember politeness doesn’t cost anything, but it means a lot. If you receive a written invitation to a function, reply to it in writing. It is best done in the third person thus:-
Jo Blogs is very pleased to accept the kind invitation of Mr & Mrs Jones to attend the wedding of their daughter Mary Ann to Billy Smith on Tuesday 29th February 2001 at St. Marys Church, Alfreton, at 2pm, and to the reception afterwards in the Council Chambers.
The acceptance is addressed to the bride’s Mother.
If invited to dinner or to stay, take a small present of flowers, fruit or chocolate, never a crate of beer. If the invitation was in writing then a ‘Bread & Butter letter should be sent, again thanking the hostess, this should be in the first person using your own words of appreciation for a wonderful evening. If the invitation was verbal then you can either send a note of thanks or make a telephone call, it is acceptable to send flowers with a note thanks attached.
All invitations must be acknowledged, before and after the event.
Sign a letter but not a formal reply.
Never say after an invitation “you must come and visit us sometime”, if you want to reciprocate hospitality then say “would you be free to come to dinner on Saturday 19th August if not what other date would suit you? An invitation sometime isn’t an invitation at all.
Any event starting after 6pm (except a barbeque) should be considered at least formal unless specified otherwise. That means a jacket and tie.
Any Royal, or Governmental invitation should be considered formal.
If invited to a function and you have restrictions on your diet make it known to your hostess, offer to attend on another occasion if that would be more convenient. Never make an issue of it on the day.
Sitting on the right of your hostess usually means you are ‘guest of honour’.
Make sure you know the name of your hostess on arrival, write it on your hand if necessary, there is nothing worse than fumbling with a name.
A formal dinner usually consists of a 1st course of soup, an Entrée, 2nd Course of Meat, 3rd course of fowl, followed by dessert, then Cheese and coffee. So eat sparingly.
Never start to eat before the Guest of Honour or the Hostess. Remember if there is a multiple array of knives and forks use those furthest away from your plate first. Try and talk with the guests on either side of you, not always easy if they are strangers, chances are they will be females for a male and males for a female.
The day will come when you are asked to chair a meeting. If there is a good secretary then an agenda will have been prepared, which you can follow. If not then this is the correct procedure is called the rules of order: First you need to know that there is a quorum present, and then ask for apologies, which need to be proposed and seconded. Next the secretary should read the minutes of the last meeting, again these need a motion to accept them as a true and accurate record of what took place, a seconder is needed and a vote taken to approve them. Then any matters arising from the minutes can be raised. It is usual that committee members only be allowed to speak once on a subject under discussion. Next is the Treasurers Report this is formally accepted before discussion. Reports of officers are then received and discussed. This is followed by new business. A sponsor of new business has the right to propose it and explain its purpose, the seconder then speaks before the matter is opened to the rest of the committee. Committee members speak once. The proposer gets a right of reply before the vote is taken. The chair person usually has the casting vote. After new business has been dealt with then it is General Business. Here the chair person has the difficult task of keeping the meeting on track. Once general business is exhausted it is usual for the chair person to thank the committee members and close the meeting.
Religion – This is a personal matter, but one that needs consideration. It is something that brings great comfort to many millions around the world. It is a body of people who are generally willing to support others in times of need. You can be agnostic, or anything else through to a true believer, but if you haven’t considered the matter what are you?
I was baptised (twice my Grand Parents wanted different churches,) I had a God Mother and a God Father; fortunately my parents lived to bring me up. I attended Sunday school twice each Sunday for many years. In the Navy we had Church Services, Grandma and I were married in church, my Children were Christened one in Leeds the other in Fareham, they initially went to Sunday school. All the major events in my life have been Church orientated. Next my funeral service will be in church. Then my ashes will be scattered along with Grandma’s.
I can’t offer advice on Religion it is a personal matter.
Golda Meir a former Prime Minister of Israel once said: “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. ”
Global Warming – I am not convinced about the arguments that support global warming. That we are going through a period of global warming can’t be denied, but ever since the earth was created there have been Ice Ages and Global Warming, in fact the Earth is continually in a period of change. That does not mean that I don’t support a reduction in Green House Gases or in recycling to help preserve the world’s limited resources. It is that I believe a large number of academics have found a gravy train to milk.
Another area you need to form your own opinion on, is the job of government. Should government be involved in commercial ventures? Should we have a Nanny State? Has Health and Safety gone too far, such that we are making living more dangerous by our rules and regulations?
Teachers need to have an opinion on curriculum; it is an area politicians love to meddle in.
My pet hate in New Zealand – Is being called a Pakeha. I am Yorkshireman, firstly, (we are basically a Germanic race,) and secondly a Caucasian. I wouldn’t call a Maori ‘a black’.
Another hate I have is the media when reporting a road crash will say “a Jaguar car was involved in a …… They never say a Nissan or Ford. Likewise in the case of a murder they will report that “a prostitute has been murdered”, I have never heard then say “a hairdresser was murdered”. The poor girl’s occupation is irrelevant.
On the subject of Prostitution, if a girl chooses to work in a brothel as a prostitute then I have no problem with that decision. However if she is forced into it, then I would harness the full weight of the law against those involved. Anyone such as a Pimp living off the earnings of girl(s) should feel the full force of the law.
I support chemical castration of those who sexually assault children and rape females: where it is unquestionably proved.
I would support the imposition of the death penalty in unambiguous cases of murder.
Now let me mention Pornography. This is another subject that we don’t usually discuss in good company. I don’t have any problem with top shelf magazines or ‘blue films’ as long as the participants in the films are taking part of their own free will, are above the legal age of consent, and that the content is not illegal. We don’t have to view or read them, so I don’t see it as a problem. What is a problem is those paedophiles who prey on children. They should be hunted down and the full weight of the law thrown at them. These people are more candidates for sterilisation.
Whilst on contentious matters – I am opposed to same sex partnerships being recognised as marriages. A marriage is the union of a man and a woman, principally for the procreation of children.
If people wish to enter into an unnatural relationship that is their private business and not something the State should legislate to make legally acceptable to society.
It is my belief that New Zealand will never prosper until it is a country populated by New Zealanders.
The Maori and other races need to recognise the Treaty of Waitangi, in which the Maori ceded sovereignty of New Zealand to the Queen of the British Empire .This gave Maori all the rights enjoyed by British subjects in exchange for the Territory of the Islands of New Zealand. That right of government passed to the New Zealand Parliament on its formation.
As I sit here writing, Maori are claiming ownership of the water in the rivers of New Zealand; a famous philosopher, Heraclitus, once said, “You can’t step into the same water of a river twice”. I think that answers the claim.
Many countries seem to be trying to save money by cutting down on Defence, this is what happened to the United Kingdom in the 1930s, whilst Germany secretly rearmed. Some wise persons have come up with various versions of the following "Those who ignore history are bound (or doomed) to repeat it" is actually a miss-quotation of the original text written by George Santayana, who, in his Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1, wrote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Rooted in the philosophies of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and many others to follow, his biography (1863-1952) and more contemporary interpretations and observations about man and life can be found at Wikipedia by searching for George Santayana. Stanford University online also provides an outstanding and much more detailed background on this important and profound philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist.
Santayana's quotation, in turn, was a slight modification of an Edmund Burke (1729-1797) statement, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." Burke was a British Statesman and Philosopher who is generally viewed as the philosophical founder of modern political conservatism.
We all make mistakes, what we shouldn’t do is make the same mistake twice. We need to learn from those mistakes, and preferably the mistakes of others.
Personally I don’t like tattoos, but I leave it to individual choice, It used to be sailors who got tattooed, a strange thing was those tattooed never rose to be officers. I leave you to work out why.
If you can afford it take out health insurance, you will benefit at some stage, we cancelled on retirement which was unfortunate.
Above all else live each day as though it could be your last, for one day it will be.
Make a will and keep it up-to-date. Untold problems arise for your family if you don’t.
I have and believe in documenting everything so that there is no mistake or unanswered questions for my next of kin after my demise.
Long after my grandparents had died I thought of hundreds of questions I should have asked them, and as a consequence have spent many years regretting it. So if you have any don’t leave it too late.
Some of the above is repetitive, that doesn't make the message any less important.
May you all live long and happy lives