By Andy Rooney
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Extra info for Common Nonsense
They are straight-backed and hard. On the other hand, you wouldn’t be comfortable at the dining room table trying to eat while seated in the chair you like for television watching. qxd 20 8/8/03 9:30 AM Page 20 Andy Rooney At a college graduation ceremony I attended, 500 students and 1,000 parents sat on card-table chairs temporarily lined up on the lawn of the campus quadrangle. During parts of the commencement ceremony that I didn’t find compelled to give my total attention to, I stared at the sea of people and could tell they weren’t happy with their seating arrangements.
We’re trapped in who we are, good and bad. There was a biology teacher in the Albany Academy who told me about a family, with a fairly common name, and more than 25 percent of all of them were in prison. Dishonesty, he told me, was an inherited characteristic. A teacher would be fired for saying that today but I’ve never forgotten it. My most talented grandparent lived with us for several years when I was young so I try to remember details about him. I’m looking for evidence that I inherited some of his ability.
A gardener accepts death as part of life more gracefully than most people. They know when it’s over. qxd 8/8/03 9:30 AM common nonsense Page 31 31 • Gardeners are patient. If you’re going to have flowers by summer, you have to plan ahead, do some work and then be prepared to wait for results. Most of us don’t wait well. To win an election, the politician has to promise us he’s going to make our world better by tomorrow. We lack the gardener’s patience. Flowers won’t be out any time soon when you plant the seeds today.