Author and humor columnist Dave Barry has been making us laugh for 35 years. The Pulitzer Prize winner has written about everything from fatherhood to turning 40.
Interestingly, his famous list of “16 Things It Took Me 50+ Years To Learn” was not originally written as such. Over the years, fans have compiled and reorganized and retitled his wisdom into a list based on past columns, books, and a 1997 piece titled “25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years” from his book Dave Barry Turns 50.
Nonetheless, Barry’s wisdom holds true as much today as it did a decade ago.
1. Nighttime wisdom
Can’t sleep? Well you might need to take something for that. Just don’t double up on the meds, especially ones that make you have to run to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It leads to difficult life choices that you might be too groggy to make!
2. On the futility of meetings
Does anyone enjoy meetings? Stopping your work day to listen to your colleagues talk over one another has never resulted in anything good, except maybe a few hours away from the desk. And maybe some free donuts.
3. When things get out of hand
When your hobbies become your obsessions, it’s time to clean out the house and reassess your life. No one needs a thousand Santa figurines.
4. On religion
Do you cringe when someone brings up religion with the intent of arguing about it? How about politics? Some discussions are better left in your head.
5. On work/life balance
Even if you love your work, it’s important to remember that there’s a great big world out there to enjoy. It’s great not to have to work just to live, but it’s usually not healthy when you live just to work.
6. Just do it
Doesn’t everybody look better when they have a little confidence? Don’t wait until you can do something perfectly in order to try it – unless maybe you’re a brain surgeon.
7. File this under “Things we didn’t know people needed to be told”
When all else fails, err on the side of not putting a knife anywhere near your face.
8. On gossip
This quote has been misinterpreted many times. The word powerful is often incorrectly replaced with “destructive,” but Barry meant the same thing. A little venting can be good for the soul, but gossip is a toxic habit can makes you look insecure and petty.
9. Well, actually…
Daylight savings time certainly seems pointless for a few overly dark mornings and evenings a year, but it’s actually designed to help people make the best use of daylight and save energy. So there is, in fact, a compelling reason for it to exist. But we’ll give Barry a pass on this one.
10. Things never to say to a woman
There are lots of great opportunities for a wise person to practice keeping their mouth shut, but one of the best is when you’re around a woman you aren’t sure is pregnant. Unless you’re her partner or physician, there’s really no reason you need to know.
11. On birthdays for adults
Do you have an adult friend who still insists on a birthday week or month? Maybe it’s time to start backing out of the third celebration. If you’re not a child, you really can’t expect your friends to attend multiple festivities on your behalf or be super excited about doing it
12. On the insistence that you are a good driver
Everybody thinks all other drivers are stupid. It’s the one thing we have in common. Sadly, I doubt this is the kind of thing that’s going to bring humanity closer.
13. Your behavior towards others says a lot about you
This one is the truest of them all. The way you treat people who are being paid to be kind to you says a lot about your character. Never attend a second dinner with someone who treats the waitstaff poorly. You never know if you’re going to be next on their list.
14. On friendship
Unless you’re rude to waiters or throw yourself 10 birthday parties, chances are your good friends will love you despite the occasional bad life choice. Of course, you can’t expect people to stand by you if you’re a constantly toxic presence – that’s what your threapist is for.
But always err on the side of assuming your friends are still around because they care.
15. Try something new
It’s hard to go out on a limb and try something new, but the rewards can be great. You can’t get it right and show people how much you rock if you never try or if you wait around for others to be ready.
16. On men
We don’t recommend stomping men and it seems an unlikely statement for a man to make, but perhaps Barry has seen enough bad behavior to give women a good laugh.
Do these look familiar? Even though the list is artificially derived from Barry’s old writings, it hangs proudly inside of every Jimmy John’s sandwich shop as well!
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Source: Bright Side