I recently came across a list of some darn good advice offered up by a nameless “old farmer.”

Here’s some of it (with my two cents thrown in).

•Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

My dad always told me that every day in every way, you have to watch out for the other guy.

In the TV series “The X-Files,” special agent Fox Mulder often said, “trust no one.”

The bottom line is, it’s better to be wise and at-the-ready than foolish and gullible.

•When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

We ain’t talkin’ animal farms here.

This is about the company you keep, the things you do and the words you speak.  

•Every path has a few puddles.

There’s no way to go through life without encountering a few hardships, so it’s best to be prepared.

•Meanness doesn’t just happen overnight.

Nope, it’s a trait that has to be cultivated and nurtured before it really matures and reaches its full potential.

I’d say there are plenty of meanness gardens in full bloom these days.

•Live a good and honorable life, then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone was able to “enjoy it a second time?”

But alas, there’s probably a bit too much mean gardening taking place.

•Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

Sure you could work your hind end off trying to remove the dang thing, but why?

But come to think of it, if you want to remove it you could use the same technique that Kayce Dutton incorporated on an episode of Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone” series. After damaging a tractor trying to remove it, Kayce (played by Luke Grimes) placed a large bucket of Tannerite next to a stump and shot it with his 30-30 from about 60 yards. After the dust cleared, his son found a dinosaur bone inside the giant crater that was left.

•Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

The fact is, many people to everything they can to behave differently than the less-than-desirables in their family tree.

•Always drink upstream from the herd.

Similarly, getting your intellectual sustenance from the same places and in the same ways as the masses is an easy way to get mentally ill.

And that’s not the kind of mental illness society wants to convince many people they have, but rather the kind that prevents them from understanding they’re being duped.

•Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

The Bible addresses this issue many times with tips like, “don’t be anxious about anything,” “anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,” and “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

Being overly stressed out about something isn’t often helpful and hardly ever results in anything truly productive, so why bother? Not that anyone should just throw all of their cares and responsibilities out the window, but them with rational, logical and balanced approach is always best.

•If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

When your neighbor’s black lab just looks at you and doesn’t budge when you tell it to “go lie down” or something like that, you should then realize you ain’t “all that” after all.

•Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

As the saying goes, we learn from our mistakes. Well, at least some of us do. Based on the way history time and again repeats itself in negative ways, it’s apparent that a lot of us don’t.

•The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you from the mirror every morning.

The problem is, a lot of people don’t recognize that person, so he or she is allowed to get away with a lot of junk that would otherwise be preventable.

•The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Amen to that.

•Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and enjoy the ride.

Those are such lovely words. Too bad they don’t resonate with enough people these days.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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