Ben M. Angel’s maxims

Near the start of this blog, I once tried to translate into Spanish the Maxiims of François de La Rochefoucauld. These were so like my own thoughts that I figured if I had a reference to work from online, I could learn Spanish from these and be able to converse on subjects I normally talk about in real life. He had pretty much embodied my own thoughts some three centuries before I was born.

But then I really thought about it. Do I really have nothing that I could contribute if asked to throw in thoughts of my own? Is all of human wisdom so derivative and so over-repeated that I could contribute nothing?

Well, it probably is. But if someone, somewhere had already said everything I could think of, at least I could repeat some of the ideas I feel are most useful at least a different order. And maybe that will be enough to stir new thoughts about life, and everything that affects it. Let me be clear, these are not the Maxims of Rochefoucauld. If you want to read them, and they are well-recommended, copies of them exist. What follows are the thoughts that go through my head written similar to the works he produced as they were published in English.

A great many of these maxims are original thoughts, though some of them are not. Some are my take on other’s original thoughts, ones that I have incorporated into my own belief system. I’m sure you’ll recognize the unoriginal thoughts. (They probably make more sense than my original thoughts.)

In the end, to be honest, this is my feeble attempt at immortality. Maybe my collection of thoughts will help someone else that finds these in the future. Or maybe they will just be forgotten among the ever-growing body of big data that sits in our digital archives, documenting everything that we do and say. But if this is my last day on earth (and who’s to say it isn’t), I want to at least say something that might benefit my fellow man. Otherwise, I will have wasted the chance to do so.

 

  1. (About Love) Never fear so much of hurt that you forget to love.
  2. (About Gratitude) There will always be idiots to overcome in life. But even as you congratulate yourself over some great victory, always remember the people who love you and support you.
  3. (About Friendship) Don’t be so afraid of someone telling you that they don’t want to be your friend that you don’t try to make friends anyway.
  4. (About Friendship) Making friends is practice for the most important connections in life, the people you fall in love with.
  5. (About Love) People are non-monogamous. But you shouldn’t stress about yours or your partner’s monogamy, so long as you always remember which way is home, you at least try not to cheat, and you never abandon your partner. The mark of maturity is where you concentrate on improving you.
  6. (About Comedy) Real comedy is the art of delivering the unexpected in an amusing way.
  7. (About True Beauty) There are three components to real beauty: attractiveness, intelligence, and kindness.
  8. (About Love and Hate) Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Hate is not the opposite of love. Indifference is.
  9. (About Love and Sex) For young people with their head on right, sex is more than a biological imperative. It’s an expression of appreciation for what that person has to offer as a complement to one’s own life. Sadly, not many young people have their head on right.
  10. (About Healing) Friends can’t fix you. Professionals can’t fix you. Only you can fix you.
  11. (About Sociopaths) A sociopath is a person who seeks to feel self-congratulatory by destroying someone else. We all have sociopathic tendencies, but we redeem ourselves when we feel true remorse over the life, and the potential that it represented, that we’ve taken, and make a real effort to not fall into that trap again.
  12. (About Sociopaths) Sexualizing someone is not the worst thing you can do. No, that prize belongs to making someone into a sociopath. Sexualized people can at least learn to love.
  13. (About Sociopaths) Making yourself into a victim is merely the act of giving yourself permission to be a sociopath.
  14. (About Forgiveness) If someone has done you wrong, do as Christ would do, forgive. This is particularly true if you call yourself a Christian.
  15. (About Forgiveness) Forgiveness is the act of teaching the person who did you wrong that they are on the wrong path. That’s not to say that if a dog is biting at you that you put down the weapon. It is to say that once the dog has calmed again, you try to show it that it has nothing to fear.
  16. (About Travel) Travel. See the planet. Appreciate it. Why else did God put it here in the first place?
  17. (About Morality) If in the end, you’ve made the world a better place, then you deserve a place in whatever form of heaven you happen to believe in. This is particularly true if you are an atheist.
  18. (About Belief) Belief that there is something bigger than you, and that it can help you in times of trouble, is a strength. It at least gives you the confidence to act on behalf of all that is good.
  19. (About Belief) A crisis in confidence in belief is a sad thing to watch. Particularly since such things are so easily resolved. It’s all a matter of will.
  20. (About Belief) Superstition is merely belief. We call it superstition only when it isn’t ours.
  21. (About Belief) Engaging in superstition is a way of expanding one’s mind, often through the simple practice of hope, and acceptance of others.
  22. (About Spirit) Even if science never finds evidence of it, your spirit will grant you immortality – through your actions in life.
  23. (About Belief) Love God by acting with confidence on behalf of all that is good.
  24. (About Sociopaths) Sociopathic tendencies are never good. They are fun sometimes, but never good.
  25. (About Regrets) I have so many regrets, but in the end, I’ll just have to let them go and move on. That’s true whether it’s now, or at the very end.
  26. (About Learning) Moving beyond your area of comfort is the start of a useful life lesson.
  27. (About Sociopaths) The person that kills on behalf of all that is good will always fare better than the person who kills because of a sociopathic urge. Even if the sociopath wins, all that they’ve won is being alone.
  28. (About Forgiveness) When I ask your forgiveness, and you make an example of me, you’ve shown me that I shouldn’t ask. If I’m wise, I’ll take that to mean I shouldn’t ask you. Not everyone is a sociopath.
  29. (About Fear) Live to teach, or die of fear.
  30. (About Fear) Terror is evil, but it originates in the people who allow themselves to be terrorized in the first place. Learn courage.
  31. (About Learning) If you want to be right, enter a discussion with an open mind. You’ll then leave it with the correct conclusion.
  32. (About Learning) The three parts to having a good day is to: (1) have lots of fun; (2) make lots of friends; and (3) learn lots of stuff. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, a worker, or a retiree, the formula is the same. And of course the most important thing to remember is that someone loves you.
  33. (About Success) To succeed in life, you need to: (1) do your best in everything you do; (2) select a direction in life and stick to it; and (3) no matter where you are in the world or what you are doing, be happy.
  34. (About Learning) The more languages you know, the more friends you’ll have.
  35. (About Life) The happiest lives are constructive. They last long and are filled with positive experiences. Sometimes, though, you are stuck with the unfortunate choice of having to select a death that will have the most positive impact on mankind. If you do, consider your choices well, as this will be your last.
  36. (About Friendship) Your real friends will stick with you, even after people say you’ve done something despicable. Morality, after all, is a constant life lesson that every person is capable of learning, even the worst of your friends.
  37. (About Belief) Perhaps the most intriguing reincarnation-based belief suggests that every person that has ever lived is a different incarnation of the same person. When you think about the universe in such a way, it becomes more difficult to do something heinous to someone else. Even your worst actions against someone else will be intended to teach, rather than destroy.
  38. (About Friendship) To be part of a group, you have to be known to a group. In some instances, to be unknown is worse than being a known criminal.
  39. (About Honesty) Except in extreme cases, honesty is the best policy. It is at least the policy that taxes the memory the least.
  40. (About Heroism) An immortal moment where you do something right and it defines who you are. In short, heroism.
  41. (About Aging) I’ve seen better days. I’ve even seen them here when I was worth getting to know and the world wasn’t trying to destroy me. Indeed, the places of my youth have grown nicer while I decline in value. Strange how humanity keeps producing the nice looking while the old and out of shape naturally die. And this astonishment at the obvious repeats itself for a new generation.
  42. (About Immortality) Somewhere, some place, it would be nice if in another life I came across a sign that read I once lived here.
  43. (About Family) Love has its drawbacks, but a thousand times I’d suffer them, knowing my kids and their mother are alive to remember me.
  44. (About Family) Sometimes love survives even the couple who fell in love in the first place.
  45. (About Miracles) A miracle satisfies three basic criteria: (1) it’s a positive event, (2) it must be appreciated, and (3) it must not be taken for granted. If you can assign these qualities to any event, then all such events are miracles. And they can happen every day.
  46. (About Travel) I’ve stayed in five star hotels, and five stars are not in any way a necessity. All you really need is a safe room with a shower and a functional way to communicate with the outside world. The rest is just pleasant excess.
  47. (About Life) Live in hope and gratitude. Build on your successes. Tell your stories. Inspire your children. Stay distant from the bitter – banish it. Enjoy what your life gives you. Teach others to do the same.
  48. (About Politics) Human society progresses in ever unpredictable ways. Always has, always will. It’s what inspires progressives and scares conservatives.
  49. (About Politics) The problem of preserving the haves in the same world as the have-nots is that eventually, the have-nots will go to war for what the haves have. In the process, they will destroy what everyone has. Better to find a way to share what you have, than it is to flaunt your greed and provoke others to attack you.
  50. (About Entertainment) Every generation has its own way to escape reality, be it puppet shows, radio, television, YouTube, holographs, or virtual reality. We learn to escape reality when reality becomes really boring. Or really stressful. Or if our favorite programs are on. Or if we don’t like the company we are with. Or…
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