The Five Truths of Life

Last week I started watching a documentary series on TV. In the program, In Your Ear, people are fitted with an earpiece and then given advice by sages. The first episode features four wisdom guides: a health and nutrition coach from Norway, two retired policemen from America, a traditional healer from South Africa and a nun from Ireland. In the show the sages tell the participants what they should do and say in order to minimise pain or possible heartbreak and maximize happiness and contentment. 

I don’t think we necessarily need earpieces when there are five truths of life, which have been proven time and time again.

1) Never Say Never

We love bold statements. To try and prove how strongly we feel about something we like to take it to the extreme. Many people thought presidents Mugabe and Zuma would never leave their posts and that we'd be stuck with them forever. Surprise, surprise in the last three months the world has finally seen both walking away.  After my father built his dream home, he said that he would never move again and that he would be carried out of that house, feet first. It’s almost a decade since he made that statement and he’s still alive and has since sold the house in question and moved twice. I never thought that I would be able to go a day without eating bread; I simply love my sarmies too much! Now, I’ve almost gone three weeks straight without any gluten. Life is a funny thing and never is a long, long time.

2) You Reap What You Sow

Whether you believe in the Bible or karma or reincarnation, what goes around tends to come around. If you’re robbing people by selling them defunct products, it will bite you in the butt someday or another. Someone won’t necessary sell you a fake iPhone, but you might find that your insurer refuses to settle your legitimate claim. The universe likes restoring balance and it’s better to be a decent human being and keep your side clean, than ‘winning’ in the short term.

3) Nothing Goes Away Until It Teaches You What You Need to Know

It’s very difficult to figure out what the lessons always are, but there tends to be method in the madness. Real change unfortunately only comes through pain, so if you’ve been a victim of credit card fraud six times in two months, life probably wants to send you a message. Either you’re spending too much, or you’re passwords are too weak or you’re careless etc. If you’re finding yourself in the same boat a few times too many, ask yourself if you’re disregarding life’s teachings.

4) It All Comes and Goes in Waves

Wo(man), is this a hard one to accept - ebb and flow, the circle of life. When you’re in bed and you’re breathing through your mouth and your skin feels like the equator, you can’t imagine ever being well again. Yet 7 days later you’re killing it on the squash court. Bad times do pass and good times do come again. It’s about cherishing those seasons when everything is in order and it’s about not losing hope when you feel like you’re drowning.

5) You Can Only Focus on What You Can Control

We don’t like to hear this one, I certainly don’t. Regardless of how much we push back, it does make sense. If the economy is tanking, no single person is going to save it. You can only limit your own expenses and try to increase your own resilience. Similar argument - you have no power to stop a pandemic from breaking out, but you can wash your hands frequently and boost your immune system.

I’ve always hated clichés, but I increasingly think they are clichés for a reason. What other truths would you want to add to the list? 

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