(1) Children are no better than adults. Some kids are great, but the vast majority are just so-so, which is okay since the supply of so-so adults will then never trickle away to nothing. No one’s to blame here, because, since a child is evolutionarily designed to tug at heartstrings of adults capable of protecting him or her from natural predators, adults understandably tend to overestimate the value and potential of every child they meet.
(2) Superficial stuff (like youth and beauty) matters. Yeah, a good soul is nice to have, but try picking up somebody at the bar with the goodness of your soul. Wisdom, honesty, dependability, and creativity are less likely to get you laid (or gainfully employed) than clear skin, a full head of hair, big but not monstrous muscles or big but not monstrous boobs, and bright, even teeth.
(3) Eat as healthy, local, and macrobiotic as you care to, but you are still gonna die, probably after a long, uncomfortable illness that some asshole you know will peg to your past life-style choices. I strongly recommend taking care of your body; just don’t fool yourself into believing that passing up French fries or coconut cake significantly improves your chances of being here in fifty years.
(4) Nobody in politics gives a rat’s ass about you—unless you’re a person with more clout and power than he or she has. Sure, we little guys make the votes, but the face you will have to look at for the next four years on CNN does not have to return the favor. Welcome to the anonymous masses. Your chances are better for screwing the American Idol contestant you voted for than getting a special favor from your senator.
(5) Your last opportunity to do something wonderful and exciting in life was probably your last opportunity to do that particular wonderful and exciting thing … ever. Potential adventures are nothing to turn your nose up at. They are rare and crop up unpredictably and often inconveniently. The word “yes” always has a sell-by date, sooner than later, but “no” can sit on the shelf till the day you die.
(6) Whining doesn’t work. I once was told that 80% of the people you complain to don’t care one way or the other, and the other 20% think you’re getting exactly what you deserve. Sure, it feels good to vent—sometimes the urge is irresistible—but being a victim is something you feel inside which hardly ever translates well when expressed out loud or in print.