A Little Happier: “More Highways, More Traffic,” ”No Fields, No Famine,” “No Love, No Loss” and Other Secrets of Adulthood

I love writing Secrets of Adulthood, and I’ve been writing them by the hundreds. Stay tuned to hear more about that project!

One variety of Secrets of Adulthood that I love is one that follows a very specific form: “No __, no__.”

These kinds of Secrets are thought-provoking, because they help me understand the sometimes surprising relationship between two ideas.

I’ll read these examples slowly, to give you a moment to consider them. Do you agree or disagree?

  •  No endings, no beginnings.
  • No garden, no weeds.
  • No prediction, no surprise.
  • No wrong answer, no right answer.
  • No Plato, No Socrates.
  • No believer, no blasphemer.
  • More danger for acrobats, more enjoyment for spectators.
  • No pressure, no diamond.
  • No fear, no danger.
  • No fields, no famine. 
  • No expectations, no disappointment.
  • No quest, no grail.
  • No intention, no meaning.
  • Bigger lawn, more mowing.
  • No Hitler, no Churchill. (I mention Forty Ways to Look at Winston Churchill, my biography of Churchill.)
  • No crowds, no masterpiece.
  • More highways, more traffic. Here’s a “Little Happier” about that paradox: Building More Roads Won’t Relieve Traffic–Literally and Figuratively.
  • More trains, more train wrecks.
  • More opportunity, more temptation.
  •  More subway stops, more drownings.
  • More choices, more regrets.
  • More love, more loss.
  • More knowledge, more questions.

 If you have any examples yourself, please send them my way.




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