Below are statements gathered from dozens of people, ages 5 to 95, many of which were collected in Live and Learn and Pass it On, Volume II.

For your consideration:

I’ve learned… that the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned… that when you’re in love, and you find your smile, it shows.

I’ve learned… that for you to be a fully functioning grown-up, you must take responsibility for your thoughts, decisions, and conduct.

I’ve learned… that it often a good idea to say, “I was wrong, I hurt you, I’m sorry, and please forgive me.” Then, go clean up your mess without further delay.

I’ve learned… that life is often about learning lessons… and lessons will be repeated until they are learned. Only when we hold ourselves accountable are we likely to learn those necessary lessons.

I’ve learned… that just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day,” makes my day.

I’ve learned… that having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I have learned… that the words Mom and Dad are the sweetest words in the English language. Remember they did the best they knew how at the time.

I’ve learned… that being kind is more important than being right.

I’ve learned… that to give is so much more rewarding than to receive.

I’ve learned… that it is routinely a good idea to say yes to a gift from a child.

I’ve learned… that I can always pray for someone when I lack the strength to help him or her in some other way.

I’ve learned… that regardless of how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend with whom to have fun and act goofy.

I’ve learned… that sometimes all a sick person needs is to have the hand held by a loved one sitting by the sickbed.

I’ve learned… that sending a thank you note, a congratulations note, a condolence note, or a love note, is perhaps the best thing you can do.

I’ve learned… that simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I’ve learned… that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve learned… that having loved and lost is better than missed having loved at all.

I’ve learned… that loves lost can turn into powerful life’s lessons and life-long true friendships.

I’ve learned… that money is often unable to buy class.

I’ve learned… that class is unrelated to gender, race, religion, or wealth.

I’ve learned… that under everyone’s hard shell is someone who is often scared and hurt and wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned… that when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I’ve learned… that love, instead of time, heals all wounds.

I’ve learned… that the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I’ve learned… that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. A bit of warmth goes a long way to touch their lives.

I’ve learned… that life is tough, and I’m tougher.

I’ve learned… that after having suffered a great injustice, my best revenge is to strive for success again.

I’ve learned… that opportunities are rarely lost; someone will likely take the ones you miss.

I’ve learned… that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I’ve learned… that I wish I could have told my Dad that I love him one more time before he passed away.

I’ve learned… that it is a good idea to keep your words both soft and tender, because tomorrow you may have to eat them.

I’ve learned… that a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I’ve learned… that when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in their little fist, that you’re hooked for life.

I’ve learned… that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, yet all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

I’ve learned… that the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

I’ve learned… that when life is yucky, the world always seems to look better after a shower and clean underpants.

I’ve learned… that life is like a camera. Focus on what’s important. Capture the good times.  Develop from the negatives and if things turn out poorly… take another shot.

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