I’ve heard that you can tell whether someone is an optimist or a pessimist by their answer to the question “Which do you want first, the good news or the bad?” I’ve started a couple of businesses during my working life, something that’s almost always associated with optimism. Yet my usual response to that question is to ask for the bad news first.
I think most college students will agree that going off to school may involve some fun but it’s basically going to be their job for a few years. That said, borrowing today’s title from the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs seems appropriate since it’s the song the dwarfs sing as they head out to work at the mine.
One of the small mysteries of my life is how my articles come into being. Sometimes I’m asked a question that seems like it might be of wider interest. Sometimes I read a book which I think others might find interesting. Sometimes a title forms itself in my mind and the article just follows.
Since my beard has long been completely white there’s not much I can do to disguise my age. That being the case, there’s probably little further embarrassment in letting you know that I watched both Andy Rooney and Gilda Radner’s character “Emily Litella” on live television. What did these two have in common?
Sam Cooke spoke for many high school students of the 1960's when he sang the words of today's title as part of his hit song Wonderful World. In college, however, we learned about philosopher George Santayana and his much earlier book Reason in Common Sense. In it, he wrote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it".
I’m turning to the Bard for the title of 2014’s first message because there are articles everywhere right now offering forecasts for the upcoming year. I never try that myself because I know I can’t predict the future. Instead, I thought I’d reflect a bit on the past to see what lessons we might learn.
The best way to legally hasten someone’s death is to arrange for the services of a personal physician.
The 1976 movie “Network” featured Peter Finch in the role of Howard Beale, a TV news anchor whose show is beset by declining viewership. Howard eventually comes back to win the ratings contest by, among other things, encouraging his listeners to stick their heads out their windows and shout: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”