Source: The Independent


by Jerry Della Femina

July 16, 2014

I wrote this column a few years ago. I’m repeating it because it’s summer. I haven’t had a vacation and it doesn’t look like I’m getting one. So I’m taking this week off from thinking about Obama, de Blasio, Hillary, the Middle East, immigration, etc. etc.

Getting mail on the internet is like opening oysters. You have to open a helluva lot to get a single pearl. A good friend of mine sent me an email that made me smile. I have reprinted it below. I hope it makes you chuckle, too.

Some of the artists from the 1960s are re-releasing their hits with slight changes as they, and their audiences, grow older.

Herman’s Hermits — “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Walker.”

The Bee Gees — “How Can You Mend a Broken Hip?”

The Temptations — “Papa’s Got a Kidney Stone.”

Ringo Starr — “I Get By With a Little Help from Depends.”

Marvin Gaye — “I Heard It Through the Grape Nuts.”

Procol Harem — “A Whiter Shade of Hair.”

Johnny Nash — “I Can’t See Clearly Now.”

Leo Sayer — “You Make Me Feel Like Napping.”

Paul Simon — “Fifty Ways To Lose Your Liver.”

Roberta Flack — “The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face.”

The Commodores — “Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom.”

The Rolling Stones — “You Can’t Always Pee When You Want.”

Bobby Darin — “Splish, Splash, I Was Havin’ a Hot Flash.”

Then a co-worker sent me an email of some great thoughts by George Carlin. Carlin was brilliant and thoughtful and slightly nuts. When (if) I grow up, I want to learn to write and think like he did.

Now here’s a wonderful message from the late George Carlin:

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways, narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life, not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything.

It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember: Spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember: Say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember: Give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Remember to say “I love you” to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all, mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment, for some day that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

The number of breaths we take does not measure life, but by the moments that take our breath away.

And, if you don’t send this to at least eight people . . . who cares?

- George Carlin

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