Today's my 46th birthday, and though I haven't learned much in 46 years, I thought I'd pass along, for what it's worth and in no particular order, some of what I have learned:
1. Human beings are amazing creatures. So are trees. And microbes. And dolphins. And three-toed sloths. And just about everything else.
2. Everything in life is too complicated to be understood or solved. It can only be addressed.
3. Art is infinitely better than war, but it makes far less money for the powerful.
4. Nature is good. And civilization is good. And Nature is good for civilization. But civilization is not good for Nature.
5. Ethical decisions follow the same rules outlined in #2 above.
6. If God exists, s/he appears to be content largely to let us figure things out on our own.
7. Faithlessness and unfaithfulness are not the same. Being faithless means denying what you don't believe in. Being unfaithful means denying what you do.
8. The best things in life (love, happiness, purpose, freedom, etc.) are not free. You have to work far harder to achieve them than you do to buy stuff.
9. There is no such thing as good luck. There's only a.) hard work or b.) random chance. Take your pick.
10. In art, we approach the divine. In divinity, we approach art.
11. Life is far too short. But if it were any longer, we'd probably waste most of it.
So there you have it. By next year, maybe I'll have learned something new.