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Just a short life lesson today. I’m busy making breakfast while outlining and re-outlining my next book.

Yeah, I know: You’re not supposed to multi-task. I do anyway. The bacon is only slightly burned.

Anyway, just out of the blue a young friend of mine pinged me to ask the greatest lesson I had learned, as though I were some sort of freakin’ Socrates or whatever.

When this question comes up in real-life meatspace, I am tempted to sing this one certain song. This is because I am beyond cringe. Cringe can’t get me now. At the ripe old age of 46, very little can make me cringe — including revealing my admiration for a song that sounds like it might have been written by a graying chicken-hawk in some attempts to woo a young gay consort while swirling a Manhattan in his Miami Beach bungalow in 1948.

But you know — one can find truth in the oddest of places. This song has been among my life lessons since I first heard George Benson’s recording of it in 1977 or something. Long time ago.

So anyway, I answered this kid thusly: “To love and to forgive.” I typed that because I meant it. If that’s all you’ve gotten out of life by middle-age, you’re doing alright. If you grasp it earlier — as some gifted ones manage to do — you’re ahead of the curve.

Take it and run with it:

“Nature Boy”

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far
Very far, over land and sea

A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he

And then one day, a magic day
He passed my way, and while we spoke
Of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return”

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return”

©1948 Eden Ahbez