I collect or adapt adages and aphorisms and make up others from my own experience. Here are some favorites:

1. We don’t hold grudges; they hold us.

2. Speed and noise are sin’s closest kin.

3. Time doesn’t pass; we do.

4. Flattery is proper only in romance; elsewhere it’s either a ploy to gain favor or a dainty form of contempt — or both.

5. Most of life began long before we did. We didn’t create the words we write, the languages we speak, the faiths we profess, the customs we observe, the numbers we sum or the music we hum. Long before we were born, much of our life was already up and running.

6. Be wary of tolerant folks who will tolerate everything but your intolerance of the intolerable.

7. Those without aim will make you the same.

8. In love and business avoid those with more problems than you have.

9. In my lifetime, we Americans were truly united and at peace with one another only when we were engaged in all-out war with our enemies.

10. The doctor’s blunder lies 6 feet under.

11. Unwanted love is often more annoying than undeserved hate.

12. We’re pleased with people who envy us but seldom with those we envy.

13. The hardest people to kill are the dead tyrants who rule the world with their ideologies.

14. The dearer our hope, the greater our gullibility.

15. Respect facts but don’t mistake them for truth.

16. If I were describing the sexes in meteorological terms, men would be the weather; women, the climate. The weather shines, storms, and blows in daily variation. The climate changes slowly, but it alters the world.

17. Well-meaning people speak much these days about the end of time, but what could fill the timeless void except more time?

18. If you cannot do the great things you dream, then dream of doing the worthy things you can.

19. If you would be original stay true to your origins.

20. Intelligence works best when wed to morality.

Harold Raley lives in Friendswood.


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