The Simple Rules of Society, Conduct and Life


Will Rogers, Simple But Insightful


I was doing some reading on the political sages of the last century and came across the words of Will Rogers, who died in a plane crash in 1935. As well as being a humourist, he was probably one of the great political sages of his day. His views on life, society, conduct and politics are simple, straight forward and insightful.

Here they are, Will Roger’s Top 21 rules of life, conduct and society, which have now been adapted to Canadian society. I’m sure that you will agree that they never go out of style and are applicable to today.

1. We are all here for a spell; get all the good laughs you can.

2. Never miss a good chance to shut up.

– Everyone, and especially all politicians should live by this standard.

3. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

4. Always drink upstream from the herd.

5. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started  roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

6. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

7. You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.

8. An ignorant person is one who doesn’t know what you have just found out.

9. The country started out with nothing – and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even.

– No doubt, every Finance Minister will agree on this one.

9. An economist’s guess is liable to be as good as anybody else’s.

10. Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate. What’s going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House of Commons?

– Thank you to Mike Duffy.

11. Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.

12. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

– From an economic and banking standpoint, Stephen Harper and company are doing everything that they can no to get run over.

13. Everything is funny as long as it is happening to Somebody Else.

–   Toronto City Councillors opposing the mayor, should take notice of this! They are no better.

14. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

–   I would like to talk to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty about this one.

15. Don’t make jokes. Just watch the government and report the facts.

–   I watch Toronto City Council and so does the media.

16. If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?

–   I would also like to ask Premier Kathleen Wynne about this one.

17. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

– See my blog on LacMégantic ( Also Premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor Rob Ford should take heed of this revelation.

18. If you’re riding ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.

– This always happens at election time.

19. Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.

–   Leaders of our political parties should do this more often.

20. The best doctor in the world is the veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what is the matter – he’s got to just know.

21. We can’t all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.

What did I tell you! It’s still true.


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