by Bill Roufberg

I am 86. When I am 90, I will have more to say.

1. Don’t rely on experts to predict the future.

2. Most men want sex. Most women want romance.

3. Nature causes floods; winds; fires; earthquakes; and pregnancies — without attributing it to God’s behavior.

4. Why do people pray? To change God’s mind?

5. The brain refuses to accept its eventual death.

6. You cannot please everyone; especially yourself.

7. Often, circumstances make it difficult to be nice.

8. Every person is unique.

9. Each of us has secrets we dare not share.

10. Democracy fails when I replaces We.

11. Humans want to be loved or admired or respected or tolerated. But every human needs to be recognized.

12. It only takes one dictator to make millions suffer.

13. In politics, it is who you know, not what you know.

14. A six foot handsome male shall succeed. A shapely beautiful female will succeed.

15. You lose an argument when you personally attack your opponent.

16. Never sign a contract without reading the small print and consulting an expert.

17. We once accepted slavery. Now, we still accept wars.

18. Freedom without some regulation leads to chaos.

19. Each generation is too removed from the past to learn from it.

20. You either create wealth or marry into it.

21. In a global economy, politics plays a greater role than economics.

22. No pension. No health insurance. No secure investments. All add up to no retirement.

23. Life can be dangerous. A person acting immorally or unethically is not acting illegally.

24. There are millionaires in Russia’s communism. There are millions of poor in America’s capitalism.

25. When a company fails it merges with another company until it becomes too big to fail.

26. Technology has become so advanced that it becomes difficult to depict fiction from non-fiction in all forms of communication.

27. The function of business is to sell you something. The function of credit cards is to make the sale.

28. Humans are equally creative and destructive. In the last 70 years I have witnessed five major wars, two economic disasters, unabated crimes. At the same time, marvels in space exploration, medicine, art, music, food, light, heat, travel, communication, and civil rights.

Roufberg, now retired, was a history teacher at Princeton High School. He has contributed poems and essays to the U.S. 1 Summer Fiction issue.

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