Advice to Students, Part VI: Take Time to Smell the Roses

6. Take time to smell the roses. Remember on summer Mondays to go to Newport Creamery. It is “Buy one Awful, Awful, and get one free”! Colonel Bill Taylor, one of my mentors in the Army, taught me: If you are not having fun, you ain’t doing it right. I have found this to be true. A sense of humor is very important in life. When I was a teenager, I interpreted this to mean that a person knew some good jokes and told them well. No, it is a much richer concept than that. It is able to see the sun behind the rain clouds, to be able to dance in the rain. Even in bad times, to be able to keep your chin up and to laugh. My hero Abe Lincoln said of laughter that it is the “universal evergreen of life.” He also said that a good story “can whistle off sadness.” His sense of humor was one of the things that sustained him throughout the ordeal of the Civil War.

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