I've Learned

By H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I've learned - 
that you cannot make someone love you. 
All you can do is be someone who can be loved. 
The rest is up to them. 
I've learned - 
that no matter how much I care, 
some people just don't care back. 
I've learned - 
that it takes years to build up trust, 
and only seconds to destroy it. 
I've learned - 
that it's not what you have in your life 
but who you have in your life that counts. 
I've learned - 
that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. 
After that, you'd better know something. 
I've learned - 
that you shouldn't compare 
yourself to the best others can do. 
I've learned - 
that you can do something in an instant 
that will give you heartache for life. 
I've learned - 
that it's taking me a long time 
to become the person I want to be. 
I've learned - 
that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. 
It may be the last time you see them. 
I've learned - 
that you can keep going 
long after you think you can't. 
I've learned - 
that we are responsible for what we do, 
no matter how we feel. 
I've learned - 
that either you control your attitude 
or it controls you. 
I've learned - 
that regardless of how hot and steamy 
a relationship is at first, the passion fades 
and there had better be something else to take its place. 
I've learned - 
that heroes are the people 
who do what has to be done 
when it needs to be done, 
regardless of the consequences. 
I've learned - 
that money is a lousy way of keeping score. 
I've learned - 
that my best friend and I can do anything 
or nothing and have the best time. 
I've learned - 
that sometimes the people you expect 
to kick you when you're down 
will be the ones to help you get back up. 
I've learned - 
that sometimes when I'm angry 
I have the right to be angry, 
but that doesn't give me 
the right to be cruel. 
I've learned - 
that true friendship continues to grow, 
even over the longest distance. 
Same goes for true love. 
I've learned - 
that just because someone doesn't love 
you the way you want them to doesn't 
mean they don't love you with all they have. 
I've learned - 
that maturity has more to do with 
what types of experiences you've had 
and what you've learned from them 
and less to do with how many 
birthdays you've celebrated. 
I've learned - 
that you should never tell a child 
 their dreams are unlikely or outlandish. 
Few things are more humiliating, and 
what a tragedy it would be if they believed it. 
I've learned - 
that your family won't always be there for you. 
It may seem funny, but people you aren't related to 
can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust 
people again.  Families aren't biological. 
I've learned - 
that no matter how good a friend is, 
they're going to hurt you every once in a while 
and you must forgive them for that. 
I've learned - 
that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. 
Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. 
I've learned - 
that no matter how bad your heart is broken 
the world doesn't stop for your grief. 
I've learned - 
that our background and circumstances 
may have influenced who we are, 
but we are responsible for who we become. 
I've learned - 
that just because two people argue, 
it doesn't mean they don't love each other 
And just because they don't argue, 
it doesn't mean they do. 
I've learned - 
that we don't have to change friends 
if we understand that friends change. 
I've learned - 
that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. 
It could change your life forever. 
I've learned - 
that two people can look at the exact same thing 
and see something totally different. 
I've learned - 
that no matter how you try to protect your children, 
they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process. 
I've learned - 
that your life can be changed in a matter of 
hours by people who don't even know you. 
I've learned - 
that even when you think you have no more 
to give, when a friend cries out to you, 
you will find the strength to help. 
I've learned - 
that credentials on the wall 
do not make you a decent human being. 
I've learned - 
that the people you care most about in life 
are taken from you too soon. 
I've learned - 
that it's hard to determine where to draw 
the line between being nice and not hurting 
people's feelings and standing up 
for what you believe.


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