This file includes Reality and Responsibility. Also see Acceptance, Emotional Health and Scrapping Difficult Times.



Not Enough

It's not enough to have a dream,
unless you're willing to pursue it.
It's not enough to know what's right,
unless you're strong enough to do it.

It's not enough to learn the truth,
unless you also learn to live it.
It's not enough to reach for love,
unless you care enough to give it.

Basic for Responsibility

(Eve Merriam)

IT is a very useful word.
IT can do many things.

IT cannot shine,
the sun does that.
But IT can rain,
and IT can snow.

IT can look like trouble ahead.
IT can look like the end of non-violence.
IT can even look like another war.
I would not want IT to happen,
and you would not want IT to happen,
but we have nothing to do with IT.

IT is not my fault
any more than IT is your fault.
IT is nobody's fault.
IT is just the way things are.

That is the way IT goes.

IT goes by itself.
We do not have to approve of IT.
We do not have to do anything at all about IT.
That is the best way for IT to grow.


This is a story about four people named
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and
Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it,
but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that,
because it was Everybody's job.
Everybody thought Anybody could do it,
but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it.
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody
when Nobody did what Anyone could have.

I Can't Believe We Made It!

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's or even the early 80's, probably shouldn't have survived.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.

We had no childproof lids or locks on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.

Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking . . .

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors!

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it,
but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle,
and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.
After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones.

We did not have Play stations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.

We had friends! We went outside and found them.

We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.
We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
They were accidents.. No one was to blame but us.
Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out any eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.
Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of parents bailing us out if we got in trouble in school or broke a law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the school or the law.
Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors, ever.

We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility --
and we learned how to deal with it.

Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before lawyers and government regulated our lives for our own good!!!

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Those Who Smile Too Much are Probably Fools

(Mike Royko, 24 March 1987)

One of my fondest curb stone theories has recently been confirmed by genuine scientific research.
It has to do with why some people are chronically grouchy and depressed while others are always bubbling with enthusiasm and looking at the bright side of life.
A psychologist took a close look at students who fell into both groups. He wanted to see how they reacted when they got poor grades.
He found that those who had the gloomier outlook of life generally blamed only themselves for their sub-par performances.
In contrast, those who bounce happily through life with big smiles on their faces usually found some other reason for their failings. They blamed teachers for not doing a good job or for being unfair, or they said that something had distracted them, prevented them from doing their best work. In other words, it wasn't their fault.
After analyzing the excuses of both groups, the psychologist found that those who tended to be gloomy were right--they had been at fault.
In contrast, the happiness-mongers were kidding themselves. They, too, were at fault, but they couldn't accept it, so they found someone else to blame.
Thus, the study came to the conclusion that those who were gloomy and depressed had a far more realistic view of themselves and life in general.
But the happiness-mongers had a tendency to be unrealistic.
This is what I've always believed: Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn't the faintest idea what the heck is really going on.
And that most maligned creature, the chronic grouch, is depressed because he knows that there's a lot to be depressed about. He knows that every dark cloud doesn't necessarily have a silver lining. It's more likely that the cloud contains acid rain.
. . . try looking at the pictures of the happy show-biz people who are always being shown in People magazine attending parties. Of course they look happy. Between the hooch and the powder they are snorting, they don't know which of their ends is up.
Contrast their facial expressions with those you see in the morning on commuter trains, buses and behind the wheels of cars. These people know exactly where they are and where they are going. They are going to work. That is reality. And that's why they're not giggling.
So I hope the above-mentioned scientific research helps put an end to the idea that people who smile a lot are in some way better than those who frown.
The scientists might even consider Slats Gronick's theory that smiling is unnatural, that it defies nature, while frowning is natural since gravity pulls our faces downward.
"If nature wanted us to smile all the time," he has said, "then we would have been born with our heads upside down."
That is something to think about.

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Songs about Real

Songs about Reality

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Songs about Really

Songs about Facts

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