You know those conversations that have roughly 162 twists & turns – the kind where you started out talking about coffee and you ended up talking about the meaning of life? I’ve had a couple of those recently. One of them ended up focusing on people we really admire – and I shared my undying affection for Ben Stein.
Yes, he was in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, and was the star of “Win Ben Stein’s Money” – and I loved them both – and they made him famous. But well before that, he was a speech writer for Presidents Nixon & Ford, a poverty lawyer & then a trial attorney, a professor at several universities, and he was then & is now a respected economist. We have none of those things in common – although I seriously considered being a speech writer, in part because of Ben Stein. Like me, he shoots straight, speaks his own personal truth, and considers Santa Cruz, CA a place of personal peace.
It’s easy to find Stein’s thoughts on taxes, government and economics – read the New York Times or Yahoo! Finance, or watch CBS Sunday Morning or Fox News. You’ll have to dig a little deeper (but not much) to find his thoughts on God, peace, faith, and his often hilarious views on humanity.
I return to Stein’s “10 Thoughts on How Not To Go Crazy” often, and I thought I’d share them with you:
- Here’s a good way to wake up: in gratitude for just being alive.
- Much of life is a gray area. Get used to it.
- Not every day will be a great day. An ordinary day is good enough.
- Harboring resentment against someone is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die.
- A good relationship with God is like air-conditioning for the soul. It cools down the craziness.
- Sometimes the only thing you get out of doing the right thing is . . . doing the right thing.
- If you’re bored, it’s probably because you’re boring.
- When in doubt about how to get there, ask those who are there.
- If you really want to change your mood, do a random act of kindness and tell no one.
- Love is a verb, not a noun.
Excerpted from The Eyes of Faith by Ben Stein. Copyright © 2009 (Hay House).