Opinion: Life lessons to learn from those who have passed

Oct 26, 2021, 6:32 PM
Life lessons...
The Salt Lake City Cemetery (Salt Lake City Public Lands)
(Salt Lake City Public Lands)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

Are we listening to those wise ones who have gone before? Are we learning what they taught? Are we learning the lessons of history?

There’s a quote that’s often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, one of those voices from the past:

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

I think we can apply that quote to a lot of things going on now in our nation’s capital. 

Favorites from Churchill

Sometimes we seem so determined to “do it new,” to do it differently, to shun the lessons of history so we can show that we’re smarter and better and more enlightened than those who lived way back when — only to discover the principles are principle, and the principles work. Which brings me to this quote from Winston Churchill:

You can always count on the American people to do the right thing after they’ve exhausted every other option.

As a politician, Churchill seemed to know politicians very well. Can we apply this quote from Churchill to what is happening today in Washington, D.C.?

Politics is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.

That is the state of politics in our country: Trying to foretell the gloom and doom, to create this anger, fear and frustration, to put people in a place with so many false choices, so many fake fights, so many things that just don’t add up in the end.

Then, when everything doesn’t go as horribly as you claim in your fundraising email to your donor base, you move on to the next thing. And there’s always a next thing. Until we start realizing that we have to make this thing the thing, we’re going to keep having political battles that never lead to policy solutions that ultimately deliver the outcomes that the American people need.

On living your true self

Apple CEO Steve Jobs spoke to the graduates at Stanford on June 12, 2005, about living your life authentically and not imitating the insincere social-media veneer of others:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

The irony of that, of course, is so much of the digital world that we have access to because of his brilliance has led so many of us to waste so much of our limited time living someone else’s life or just watching someone else’s life. Endlessly, mindlessly scrolling through social media, comparing ourselves to someone else’s life that they portray so perfectly on social media.



Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

Inside Sources

Inflation caused gas to skyrocket....
Curt Gresseth

Sen. Mitt Romney talks inflation and economy

High home and gas prices and inflation, are causing real hardships for Utahns and Democrats will be blamed by voters, Sen. Mitt Romney told Inside Sources.
2 months ago
cheeseburger inflation...
Curt Gresseth

Why does my cheeseburger cost so much? Most ingredients touched by inflation.

A reporter joined the show and walked us through the reasons that popular cheeseburger ingredients have jumped in price since March of 2021.
2 months ago
A Utah woman shadowed lawmakers...
Curt Gresseth

Utah woman shadowed lawmakers to ease her political rage

Frustrated and angry with politics, a Utah woman shadowed state lawmakers to gain a better understanding of the process and to lower her own political rage.
3 months ago
a tax form, 1040, is often used to file taxes...
Curt Gresseth

What’s the holdup on my tax refund?

A tax expert talked to Inside Sources about new duties given to the IRS and why your tax refund is taking so long to arrive.
3 months ago
Homeless persons sit in a closed business on North Temple in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 6, 20...
Curt Gresseth

Everyone can do something to help, says advocate for homeless in Utah

Utah homeless advocated Pamela Atkinson said there are actions we can all take to help provide assistance to the unsheltered.
3 months ago
A U.S. plan takes off. An adjunct philosophy professor says a no-fly zone in Ukraine could spark WW...
Curt Gresseth

Why a no-fly zone over Ukraine would ignite WWIII

A no-fly zone over Ukraine would mean U.S. warplanes shooting down Russian fighter jets and that would lead to World War III, says a magazine columnist and philosophy professor.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Opinion: Life lessons to learn from those who have passed