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Reflections On Turning 85 Years Young

Thursday February 1, 2018 | Filed under:

ASI Chairman Norman Cohn recently turned 85. In observing the occasion, he gathered a few personal reflections for his family that I think are worth sharing:

In thinking over what I have learned in the first 85 years of my life . . . rather than go through year by year, I summarized with seven points:

  1. Be honest (it takes a lifetime to build a reputation; only one misstep can ruin it).
    • Not only be honest with others, but yourself.
    • Your word should be your bond.
  2. It isn’t work if you enjoy it. That’s why I don’t plan to retire.
  3. Never forget how lucky each of us is and be sure to help the less fortunate. Some don’t have a home or food to feed their family, or clothes or heat, or might suffer from a mental or physical disorder.
    • Remember, “There but for the grace of God go I.”
  4. Always show appreciation for any person who is helpful, whether you are just passing them by – a bus driver, an elevator operator (there are still some in New York) – in business or at home.
    • Treat others as you would like to be treated.
  5. Two wrongs don’t make a right!
  6. Family.
    • Ours always helps each other.
    • Try to get together with family, not just on holidays and celebrations (or, unfortunately, on sad occasions, like death and illness, which will happen anyway), but enjoy whenever possible every member of your family and help anyone you can.
  7. Luck. They don’t teach this in college, whether you go to Harvard or Iowa State Teachers College, but when luck comes along, don’t miss the bus! However, hard work and focus give you a good path to find good luck.

A couple of final thoughts:

  • Bite your tongue! Sometimes you are unhappy or disappointed in somebody. Before lashing out, wait 24 hours and if you still feel the same, okay, but you probably won’t.
  • Hug your family whenever possible.
  • God bless America!
  • Always believe in yourself.