OKIE IN EXILE — Things I’ve Learned

Bobby Neal Winters
Bobby Winters

Before I start on the things I’ve learned over the years, let me say that the chief of these is that I am not as smart as I think I am. So, if you want to tell me that after you’ve finished reading the list, you can save yourself the trouble; I already know.

  1. Problems are best dealt with at the lowest level possible. That is where the relationships are the strongest. That is where most of the work has to be done.
  2. If the lowest levels are left on their own, that brings corruption. The lower-level units need to be connected with each other and have good communication. They need to be accountable, and there should be a mechanism wherein they can share solutions with each other.
  3. There will be plenty of problems anyway.
  4. Jealousy is a massive waste of time, energy, and emotion. Other people’s achievements are there to be admired. We should use them to inspire us. We should praise them highly instead of trying to minimize what they’ve done.
  5. The biggest barriers you face fit nicely between your own two ears. “I can’t” just can’t do it.
  6. Everything comes at a cost. It might be planning; it might be hard work; it might be time; it is likely a combination of all three. It might also be your soul. Some things just aren’t worth the price.
  7. Nobody got to where they are alone. Everybody is born into a family, and some of those families have money. Some men are great because they’ve got a wife that takes care of all their basic needs for them, and this allows them to go out and be the “Great Man.”
  8. If you know someone who never seems to be able to keep a good job, but always has a nice vehicle, then it is either credit or an inheritance.
  9. There are some people in positions of power who are like a tortoise on top of a fencepost: They have no business being there; they don’t really want to be there; they can’t do anything; and they sure as hell didn’t get there on their own.
  10. You should floss everyday.
  11. Yes, everyday.
  12. If you are in a country where you don’t have a good grasp of the language, you can get what you need if you don’t mind being embarrassed and can mime. You might not want to do this for toilet paper.
  13. If you are in a country where you don’t know the language, speaking English slowly and loudly and waiving $20-bills works.
  14. You shouldn’t worry too much about petty embarrassments. People are so self-involved that, while they might laugh, they are soon so absorbed in their own problems they forget whatever you may have done.
  15. Even in the light of that, try not to do anything spectacularly stupid on a slow news day.
  16. Tip. At least 15 or 20 percent.

I hope you are all off to a fantastic summer.

Bobby Winters, a native of Harden City, Oklahoma, blogs at redneckmath.blogspot.com and okieinexile.blogspot.com. He invites you to “like'' the National Association of Lawn Mowers on Facebook. Search for him by name on YouTube.