WISDOM - good sense and judgment, knowledge gained through learning and
experience - is generally associated with philosophers and senior monks,
statesmen and high judges - but can come from any number of others, even
children. Examples follow, starting with author Charles Skyes:

- Rule 1: Life is not fair; get used to it.

- Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect
you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

- Rule 3: You will not make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You
won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn it.

- Rule 4: If you think you teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

- Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents
had a different word for burger-flipping; they called it opportunity.

- Rule 6: If you screw up, it's not your parents' fault so don't whine about
your mistakes. Learn from them.

- Rule 7: Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are
today. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning your room, and
listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. So before you save the
rain forest and exterminate the bloodsucking parasites of your parents'
generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

- Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. In some
schools they have abolished failing grades. They'll give you as many chances
as you want to get the right answers. This, of course, bears not the
slightest resemblance to anything in real life.

- Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and
very few employers are interested is helping you find yourself. Do that on
your own time.

- Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have
to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

- Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

- Rule 12: Living fast and dying young is romantic - only until you see your
dead peers at room temperature.

I've not been told who came up with the following lessons learned:

- I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is
stalk them and hope they panic and give in.

I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just asses.

I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only suspicion, not
proof, to destroy it.

I've learned that you can get by on charm for about 15 minutes. After that,
you'd better be well hung or endowed.

I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at
first, the passion fades, and there had better be a lot of money to take its

I've learned that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will
eventually get arrested and end up in the local paper.

I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you
too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.