Each year our colleges and universities spew forth an avalanche of graduates, many with their heads packed with new information; but few with any regard to knowledge that emerged in centuries past. The world might be better served today if more students of every nation were to have been brought to their attention four century-old literary advice from the pen of William Shakespeare, for example:
In Act 1 of Scene 3, Hamlet's chief counselor advises his son Laertes some pearls of wisdom that would well serve those who lead us today. Polonius tells his son to take his best friends and: “Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel . . . And warns him of the dangers of “hatching new comrades.”
He cautions him to be wary of entering into quarrels, but if he must enter into same, make sure his opponent quakes at the thought of having entered into it.
He urges his son to: “Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.”
Then he goes on to advise his son to “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.”
Then Polonius wraps it up by telling his son to:
“Above all to thine own self be true,
“And it must follow, as the night the day,
“Thou canst not be false to any man.”
As we look at our world today, and the situation into which various politicians and monarchs have dragged us we must wonder how these simple truths have been so cavalierly ignored.
In our schools we study literary works; even memorize some of them, but do we learn anything from the effort?
One fears not.
But we should—and soon. Our survival as a nation depends on it.
The truths that were self evident to our Founding Fathers seem to be beyond the grasp of today's crop at the top.
Adopt a cat
At the urging of a feline friend of long acquaintance your writer would like to bring to the readers of this page a suggestion for June: Adopt a cat.
Why, you may ask, should this idea be brought up now?
It's because June is “Adopt a Cat Month,” that's why.
And even if you don't adopt a cat, consider making friends with one; they do make good friends—and interesting ones at that.
As has been mentioned from time to time in these columns, Wiley, a Siamese Seal Point cat of long acquaintance, came into this wretched writer's life nearly a decade ago, and has since become a good friend.
If you would like to adopt a cat plan ahead. The local Humane Shelter is a good place to look for one, since a goodly number of cats end up there.
For first time cat owners Wiley has some suggestions:
Choose a cat whose personality is similar to yours. At first reading this may not make any sense, but it's worth considering, since cats definitely do have their own peculiar personalities and they seem to prefer humans whose personality will mesh well with theirs. And remember this: There's no compromise; it's their way or the highway.
Ask questions: Line up a veterinarian before hand and get his or her advice. Know what you're getting into.
If you live alone, fine. If there are others in your household make sure that they're prepared for this new member of the family.
Consider the added cost of feeding and caring for a feline friend, and make sure you have plenty of supplies on hand before you bring him—or her—home. More than likely, your cat will want to eat, NOW!
Be sure to “Cat Proof” your home before the new addition arrives. If there are belongings you would prefer the cat not play with, get them out of sight. Cats are curious critters.
If you're going to make a cat a member of your family, go all the way; the cat will.
Pets of any kind are a worthwhile addition to your life; especially for seniors. As Wiley will tell you: Cats make the best of friends; If you do as you're told.