Andy Rooney's List of Life Lessons

I love making lists. Do you? Lists can help us remember or be reminders to us. They can keep us organized and on task. But my favorite lists are the ones that bring me surprises. They might begin with “I’m grateful for. . .” or “People who made a difference in my life. . .”

In 2009, on his 90th birthday, American journalist, Andy Rooney, wrote a list that began with the phrase “I’ve learned. . .” Here is some of what Rooney wrote:

"I’ve learned.... 

That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person 

That when you’re in love, it shows.  

That just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day. 

That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful  
feelings in the world. 
That being kind is more important than being right. 
That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a  
friend to act goofy with. 
That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it  gets to the end, the faster it goes.    
That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.   
That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.    
That love, not time, heals all wounds.    
That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a  smile.   That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.    
That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.     
That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it."

I wonder if Rooney was surprised by anything he wrote on his list. Why don’t you see if you can surprise yourself today. Write your own list, choose your own topic—gratitude, favorite books, embarrassing moments. The list is endless.



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