Inescapable Truths

Winston Churchill said,  “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” This adage says two things. First, it highlights that our opinions change as we get older. Second, it says that I have no brain 🙂

I remember having arguments with my father where I would be furious because he’d dismissed something I said solely on the basis of his greater experience. He’d predict that I would come around to his way of thinking as I got older. I would rail that age doesn’t necessarily equal wisdom but that would get me nowhere.

To my chagrin, being older now, I find that I understand my father’s position at the time. Unquestionably, personal experience does shape your world view. While, as a teenager, I could read the book, now I can go to the beach and be The Old Man in the Sea.  As a teenager, I could ponder a dozen meanings for the plot; as an almost-50-year-old, I can easily understand why The Big Catch is important to Santiago.

When you are young, there are no impossibilities. Your life is ahead of you and your potential futures unbounded.  When you’re old, not only have you realized that you will never play for the Lakers, you know how silly it was for you to ever imagine that you could have.

In this post, I am going to list a few things that I have learned over the years that I believe are “inescapable truths.” Some are exactly the types of things that I might have argued over with my father. They’re all the types of things for which my father would have employed the Experience Argument.

In this first post – I’m only going to list them. In later posts, I’ll go back and explain why each is inescapable and what their implications are. Note that I’ve chosen deliberately provocative titles for some items; wait for the explanatory follow-up post before complaing, though, since it may not be clear where I’m headed with each item.

Maybe you’ll disagree with me on whether they’re true or inescapable. Unless you’re at least 40 years old though you know how I’m going to answer you.

Here the list:

Manny’s Inescapable Truths

  1. We are not all created equal.
  2. People act in their own self-interest.
  3. There will be poor always.
  4. Nothing is perfect.
  5. Humans seek meaning.