A few days ago, I mentioned that I had received a gift subscription to Esquire magazine. By the way, the giver remains anonymous.
I also mentioned that I was looking forward to reading what various public figures said about what they’d learned about The Meaning of Life. Last Thursday, a four-hour plane ride gave me time to explore.
The public figures had plenty to say on the subject, and their comments held as much entertainment value as wisdom.
But buried within the feature were comments by private figures—regular readers of Esquire who wrote in with their pearls of wisdom about what they’d learned along life’s road. They’re my favorites in part because I can relate in some way to each one.
I’ll start by sharing the regular-Joe pearls, then give you some snip-its from the celebs.
“Being out of work for seven months in 2010 taught me character, humility, and persistence. It also really sucked.” – Yale Hollander, 42, St. Louis
“The fact that curiosity killed the cat isn’t an argument for not being curious; it’s an argument for not being a cat.” — John Alejandro King, 40, Washington, D.C.
“Never eat at a chain restaurant while on vacation.” — Curry Smith, 26, New Orleans
“Get in shape to play. Don’t play to get in shape.” Russell Bryan Love, 44, Santa Cruz
“Of all the things I’ve become attached to, the ones I superglued to myself caused the greatest regret.” — Daniel Rahe, 30, Tacoma
“Sometimes your neighborhood bar feels more like home than home.” — Derek Gale, 30, Chicago
“I always took pride in the fact that I was not one of those guys whose ego was tied to his career. But when I lost my job, I was amazed at how much my ego was hurt.” — Mickey Chapatte, 52, San Diego
There is a lot of wisdom among the celebrity “What I’ve Learned” entries, so pick up a copy of the magazine or go online and read them all. Here are just a few of the ones I found meaningful:
Robert Redford: “Humor. Skill. Wit. Sex appeal. That order.”
James L. Brooks: “Every laugh you have at the keyboard does not mean everybody else will laugh. But laughing helps sustain you to move forward.”
Fred Willard: “Ballet I love for about five minutes. Then I want to see a comic come out.”
Ricky Gervais: “Music is still the greatest art form. I’m in awe of it. A chord can make me feel sick.”
Danny DeVito: “I’ve been to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It’s a tower and it’s leaning. You look at it, but nothing happens, so then you look for some place to get a sandwich.”
Here’s to The Meaning of Life and to getting closer to finding it in our own lives. L’chaim.