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Life Lessons

Life Lessons - Quotes

My good friend Ron Walton used to say, "take first class as far as you can then walk!"

 — Ernst Star

"It is OK to get older but don’t get old."

 — Carlo Samartino

My late husband use to say, "tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are."

 — Beverly Darcy

"Do today what you should have done yesterday" is a quote I attribute to my own experience.

 — Tony Parisi

"Love and take care of yourself so you will be better at taking care of others."

 — Cynthia M. Presige

"Give your husband an extra hug and thank god you can."

 — Patricia McFee

"A well man has many wishes a sick man has only one."

 — Josephine Eichnerís mom Katie Scheck

My parents taught me that you should not spend two dollars if you only have one.

 — Jutta Paparelli

My father-in-law, Michael Raliegh use to say, "you can not be a good man at night and in the morning too."

 — Carol Raleigh

"The happiest of people may not have the best of everything but they make everything they have the best".

 — Beth Davis’s dad, Elvin Landman age 81

My grandfather once famously wrote my mother (before she was my mother) that, if she wished to avoid trouble in life, the best advice he could offer her was to stay out of bars and churches.

 — Ernst Star

Here’s one I share with my students all the time – unfortunately, I have no information on attribution, so I ask everyone else receiving this, if you know who said this, please let me know:

"Luck is opportunity meeting up with preparation. So go out and prepare yourself to be lucky."

 — Nancy Kaplan

From my Dad (Ronald) "There is no sense being right if the boss is the one who is wrong."

From my Mom (Joan) "You bring yourself wherever you go" meaning - If you are part of the problem there is no sense running, moving, changing jobs, changing friends, or basically changing anything other than that part of you that is causing you the problem. I guess it is a fine tuning of the old phrase "the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence."

 — Rich Redmond

Here are two that I like to live by.

When my son Corey was an infant, I was shopping at a thrift shop in Boca Raton. As Corey was sitting in the wagon, I was just talking with him and giggling when an elderly woman appeared out of nowhere and said, "Is he good because you love him, or do you love him because he’s good?" I’ll never forget this and wonder if it was my mother’s intervention from heaven.

Also, one I learned from my godmother and great aunt Mickey "May your arms be so filled when you visit someone that you have to ring the door bell with your elbow!"

 — Aimee DeGroot

My beloved father, John Tashie, had two good ones:

"Everything else being equal, what’s going to put you over the top?"

And, "They can take away EVERYTHING from you except your name and reputation... that’s what you should protect the most."

 — Ellen T. Frisina

I once heard a quote on TV that has helped me overcome many hurdles in my life... the quote is "Grow where you are planted!" I underwent brain surgery three years ago to repair a cerebral aneurysm. The surgery left me partially paralyzed. For a long time I was in denial, unable to accept what had happened to me. Then I heard this quote and got to thinking... ya know, I’m alive and can still enjoy myself and should make the best of the cards I was dealt. I have since, volunteered in an orphanage in Sri Lanka, walked 26 miles for breast cancer and gone back to school. I think this could be a good life lesson about overcoming obstacles and making the best of things.

 — Sandi Smykowski, Long Beach, NY

Eugene Lynch, my Grandfather, used to say, "When you leave New York, you’re just camping out".

 — Brian Carlin

My father, Al Arfin, died in 1982 at age 67 and lived in Mineola.

In referring to the importance of earning a good living he said "With money you get honey."

 — Paul Arfin

My father related this to me many years ago. Julia Adams, my grandmother on my mother’s side, used to have an expression. While I can’t remember her using it, I can hear her say the words in my mind. Whenever she was a guest who had just enough to eat but was offered more food, she would say in her light Hungarian accent, "I’ve had a gentle sufficiency."

I always thought that it was a wonderful and gracious way to suggest one’s desire not to over indulge yet still show gratitude for a satisfying meal. My father seemed to think so too as he would "borrow" the saying from time to time (of course, always crediting the source).

 — Dave Moyssiadis

My Irish Grandmother, Anna Marie Starrett, used to say. "If you were born to be hung, you’ll never be shot."

 — Douglas Morrow

My mom, Clare Hayden loved to entertain, she used to say. "Treat people likes kings and queens when they come to your house and hopefully, they will treat you that way when you go to theirs."

My grandmother had 24 grandchildren. She never forgot a birthday and always wrote you a card and put some money in it. Part of her message was "Buy yourself a lollipop" regardless of your age.

 — Diane Morrow

My dad, Bill Dugan says. "True love never runs smoothly." My Mom, Patricia Duggan says. "If you’re not good to yourself, no one else will be."

 — Kim Goodwin

My dad, Jack Goodwin says. "You can learn something from everyone, whether it’s a CEO or a janitor." My mom, Joan Goodwin used to say. "When you marry someone, you marry their family too". My mom and dad both used to say. "You never get something for nothing."

 — Tim Goodwin

I was about 15 years old and speaking with my father about things I wanted to do. It must have become apparent to him that I was not being very "real" with myself.

He told me: "You know, you can lie to the world and get by somehow. I would hate it, but you could lie to me and we would still find a way to be OK...but the minute you lie to yourself you have lost it all."

I have never better understood the meaning of knowing myself and coming to terms with who I am and what I want to do. I consider it the most valuable spoken lesson from the person who provided an example for me by having a higher standard and still occasionally letting me know of how he had failed in some circumstances when he might have done better.

He also once told me: "Sometimes you are the hammer, sometimes you are the nail. You find out a lot more about yourself when you are the nail."

I am certain that he picked that up from somewhere as I have heard it again from others.

 — Orben Torres

Here is an old Persian proverb that my friend Anthony Laudani quoted often in dealing with politicians. "He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool, shun him. He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child, teach him. He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep, wake him. He who knows, and knows, that he knows, is wise, follow him."

Anthony also says. "For those who believe no proof is necessary. For those who do not believe no proof is possible."

My Grandmother, would say. "You don’t know your who’s its from your what’s its" instead of " you don’t know your ass from your elbow".

My mother being Episcopalian in a family of Lutherans would say about religion; "We are all going to the same place we are just taking different trains"

 — Jon Peterson

I remember my dad saying "Every dog will have their day."

 — Ellen Redmond

My Mother’s Mother, Alice Lynn McGeehan, who lived with us, always used to say, when bad times hit: "When God closes a door, He opens a window." Her grace and optimism about life in general are obvious in that one statement.

 — Denise Goodwin Pace

My beloved Grandpa (Herbert Moseman) was such a rip. He always told us he was the "Best looking plumber on Long Island". He was very sick and was in Mercy Hospital for a long time before he passed away at 85 years old. We spent a lot of time with him there during those months.

One particular day I had gone to see him it was miserable outside; pouring rain, windy, just ugly. When I got to his bedside and we started talking I began to complain about how horrible the weather was. He looked at me and said, "Enjoy everything, kid". It has become my favorite quote from my Grandpa. That says it all. Life is short, so take Grandpa’s advice!

 — B.A. Bernatzky

My mother Anna Starrett used to say to me "Right or wrong I’m right." She also used to tell us, "Never tell anyone how smart you are for if you are really smart, they will tell you."

My aunt Nellie Doyle used to use the expression "Another nice lady like myself," when referring to other ladies that she liked.

 — Ann Pavlonis

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles it empties today of strength."

 — Hospice - New Bern North Carolina

"If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas".

 — Doris Varga

Caught in a dilemma about retiring from an organization I had worked for after 28 years, I was meandering in my oldest daughter Christina’s study cubby, when I noticed a poster on one of the walls. It was from her future college, and full of words of hope for someone’s future.

As for me, I was struggling toward the end of what had once been my promising career, and was having a difficult time of the decision making process to boot. Yet the sentiments within those phrases caused me to remember back to a time when I felt similarly, and I couldn’t help but grab a ’postum’ notepaper and put down these words, "do what you love, love what you do".

Did the stars in my daughter’s eyes cloud her vision and mine too? No, I don’t think so. I ended up officially retiring about six months later, and have never looked back, or regretted a single day. Christina is now in her second year, and prospering with a dedication rarely seen these days, and certainly bearing witness to the idealism within the poster. No doubt in my mind, that when you really open yourself up to all possibilities, life’s lessons can come from just about anywhere.

 — Bob Spates

Kitty Morrow, my grandmother, commenting on my good fortune and ability would say, "If it was raining soup, you’d have a fork"

 — Dave Peterson

When I’m blue I just think of my Mother. She lost a child, my older brother, when she was a young mother. It has left a deep scare that will never be totally healed but she compensates for this tragedy by instilling in me that everyday should be lived to the fullest. I can’t recall her ever saying these exact words but I know she taught me to "Stop and smell the roses" and I do.

 — Paul Lipsky

Here are two little stories my mother Natalie Solomon (who is 78 years young) told me:

"When my sister and her boyfriend announced at age 18 their plans to marry, my mother was very upset. She shared her anxiety with her father who said "What’s the problem-does he drink-does he gamble?"

"No" my mother replied, "He’s too young" and my grandfather said "What’s to worry, he’ll get older."

My mother related the following story after visiting an elderly aunt in a nursing home: they were having lunch in the dining room when her aunt pointed to a woman at the next table "See that woman, she looks like a frog but she eats like a horse."

 — Laurie Felix

My father, Bruce Tuttle, was a test pilot for Grumman during its early years. He fell in love with flying at age 5 when his mother excitedly pointed up at Charles Lindbergh flying over the family farm in Setauket. After Dad stopped flying, he joined the design team which produced jets and the Lunar Module. Dad always told me that "One should do the right thing always, even if it’s really hard."

He also said, as I got older, "’Learn to do what you love, but be prepared to do anything.’’ As a result, I have not only learned to do any number of things, but I learned to love them all, even if they are hard to do right. My Mom, artist Anne Tuttle, took that a step further, and told me "Leave the world a better place than how you found it.’’

 — Amy Tuttle

As a young adult I was very unforgiving and held many grudges. My mom, Barbara Kelly, told me, "If someone lies to you or lets you down, give them a chance to explain, those who go out of there way to give you a good excuse are worth forgiving, those who don’t, well now you know who your friends are." I did not see the value immediately, but as time went on, I realized at some point in your life everyone will let you down in some way, and forgiveness is important for those worth holding on to.

 — Suzanne Dzolan

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I was very lucky to spend a lot of time with my grandmother, Claire Waynant, who is now 95 and still lives on her own! The one vice I picked up from her was learning to drink coffee black, but one vice I avoided was swearing. Not that we would have done it anyway...but she taught me the phrase "Glory be to Saint Patrick!" as a handy one-size-fits-all epithet. You can exclaim it for good AND bad and depending on the word you accent it seems to fit nicely for just about anything you need an epithet for!

Grammy also said, "You never have to finish dessert." She was also a big believer in a bit of chocolate as the perfect way to digest dinner.

 — Susan Murphy

When my grandfather Andrew Truxal was alive, he was a teacher at Hood College. My grandma told me, he was much beloved by the students. He used to tell me, "Treat every one like they are special, and then they will be."

My favorite quote, though, is this: "When you have a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail." I can’t remember who told it to me.

 — Carol Fletcher

Here is one that I remember my mother Marie Madeo saying to my brother and me. "There is no one that is better than you are, but you are not better than anyone else."

 —  Jack Madeo

My father Michael Mitchell used to say "Empty barrels make the most noise, and birds of a feather, flock together."

 — Mary McCormick Rocky Point New York

"Life is an adventure, enjoy the ride."

 — Pat Fusco born 1934

I always told my kids "Life has many roads so if one sours on you, pick yourself up and go down another."

 — Barbara Anderson born 1945

My mother Erika Valder used to say "If you think you have come to the end of your rope, make a knot and hang on".

 — Doris Cremeni

"My wife Doris Cremeni says "Be sure to put your brain in motion before opening your mouth".

 — Italo Cremeni

"It is easy to save money, just spend less than you earn".

 — Jerry Lasurdo

A friend of mine says "We grow too soon old and too late smart".

 — Marilyn Daller

My grandmother Josephine Manzo taught my mother Millie Romano who then taught us "Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are".

 — Angelina Acorella

My father William H. Washeim used to say, "You will be successful at anything you do if you truly love it". He would also say,"When you’re dumb you gotta be tough".

My mother Ella Washeim says, "When you are burning the candle at both ends, be careful not to get it burning in the middle".

While visiting a mother of a good friend of mine, we were talking about a place to live. We had found a small place and I told her I didn’t think it would be large enough for us. She smiled and said, "you can only sit in one chair at a time". She was a wise and loving person and I think of that quote often.

 — Bruce Washeim Baldwin, NY

My Mom, Patricia Landi, was full of life lesson quotes when I was growing up. If I was contemplating making a purchase and felt guilty about spending the money she would say "Save for a rainy day and you’ll get one!" She also always said "to thine own self be true and show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are." The one I’ve actually used most in life is one her father always told her: "Smile and people will smile back." This not only proved to be true most of the time, but also helped me overcome my shyness.

 — Linda Carlin

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