Thought for the Week

If for no other reason than my own sanity, I have to occasionally write on something other than the giant smoldering crater that is our president. In that spirit, a thought from one of  my favorite authors – even today – Robert Heinlein. The “science” of his science fiction is mostly lacking but many of his characters taught me lessons worth learning:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

I’m still a few skills short, but I’m still learning. What else should be on the list?

  • Austin

10 thoughts on “Thought for the Week

  1. Mike Keliher says:

    Love this. Additions for consideration:

    Play an instrument

    Brew beer / distill whiskey

    Tell a joke

    Argue like hell and still love the other

    Know the difference between affect and effect

    Pitch a tent

    Enjoy a baseball game

    Find a book in the library

    Talk intelligently about politics and things other than politics

    Have friends like y’all

  2. Dennis Lang says:

    Hah! All virtues of the liberal education in the grandest sense (when “liberal” was more about learning life than just a political term) my parents paid for a bunch of decades ago.

  3. Dennis Lang says:

    So, by very strange coincidence on this subject as I’m slumming this morning, I start reading the “New Yorker” profile from last week of the famous neuroscientist/philosopher, Daniel Dennett. Some years ago he bought a farm and “learned to frame a house, shingle a roof, glaze a window, build a fence, plow a field, fell a tree, butcher a hen, call a square dance,,,,” On and on. Seems Austin and Heinlein are on the same page and those rare folks like Daniel Dennett are living examples.
    Had to pass it along.

  4. I’m enjoying this. I’ll add…
    Use a compass
    Describe who you are in a 30-second elevator speech
    Learn a second language
    Perform CPR
    Ask for help
    Express gratitude
    Appreciate good wine and theatre
    Prioritize people over projects

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