20 life lessons they don’t tell you about

By Lt. Steve Rose

If life has taught us anything, it’s taught us that life can hold a lot of unexpected surprises: some good, some not so good, and some just plain ugly. There has never been a rule book about all the things you probably need to know. Somehow, regardless of how many people have had similar experiences, there never seems to be a pass-down of even the really good things you need to know, at least in the real world.

There is no one “real world.” My real world is different than someone else’s. The real world to the upper crust may be no Starbucks within a five-mile radius while, two miles away, the real world means your meth dealer got popped by the cops and your connection just dried up. Either situation can be the universal bummer.

But I believe there are fundamentals, or absolutes, that most young people would benefit from hearing. Learning from others can be beneficial. One person may suggest: “Help those who are not as fortunate as you.” I’m good with that, but would add: “Make sure you frisk them first.”

My list of things you should know

While we all have different views, I’m sure there is a core group of absolutes. Some of my suggestions:

1. Make it a habit to foot-flush in public restrooms. (For those of us over 50, stretch first.)

2. Realize everyone gets silly-stupid behind the wheel. Use restraint. Remember, your road rage will quickly subside in a few seconds. Don’t lose control and do something completely stupid that will come back to haunt you later.

3. Put your cellphone down. Literally. I got behind someone going 35 MPH on GA 400 in the left lane, talking on the cellphone. We don’t multi-task that well.

4. Look people in the eye for a second or two.

5. When you pass someone on the street and acknowledge them, nod up but not down. Nodding up has a bit of swagger to it.

6. Start or join a neighborhood watch group.

7. Get off the popular bandwagon and make up your own mind on important issues.

8. Reduce the number of left turns you make during the day.

9. When someone breaks into your home or business, it’s a burglary, not a robbery.

10. Get out of the city and suburbs from time to time. Go the mountains and see how nice people are.

11. If you have a gun, clean it and go practice with it. If you can’t do that, sell it to someone who will.

12. Don’t give crooks credit they don’t deserve. They’re morons and have no honor. They steal from you, me, their own families and anyone who leaves the opportunity for them to commit crimes.

13. You will NOT make millions from a land baron in a small foreign country. Banks will not request you send personal info on your email to keep your account from suddenly being frozen. Read up on scams.

14. Be politely skeptical. Don’t be afraid of asking questions, but do buy the Girl Scout cookies — no questions asked.

15. Call the police when you see something suspicious. Most arrests are a result of a suspicious resident making a 911 call.

16. Go see the Gwinnett Braves and/or the Rome Braves play baseball. It’s affordable and fun.

17. Go see the Atlanta Braves play, but bring a loan officer.

18. Enjoy your weekends or any other day off. Don’t spend nice days inside. Hang out with friends and family and make the good days last longer.

19. Be happy and don’t sweat the small stuff.

20. Finally, remember that everything short of death is just small stuff!


– View from the Cop blog

Editor’s note: After a run of more than six years, this is Lt. Steve Rose’s final “View from the Cop” post on ajc.com.

We invite you to explore our other blog offerings.

7 comments Add your comment

Van Jones

March 31st, 2011
5:20 pm

Excellent advice all around. To expand on #19:
Don’t sweat the petty stuff. Don’t pet the sweaty stuff.

Alabama Southern Belle

March 31st, 2011
5:30 pm

Thanks for the advice! I love your blog! :-)


March 31st, 2011
6:07 pm

I laughed outloud..My husband a 40 year veteran officer leaves home without gun and badge once-in-a-while…10 minute drive home…and he is the chief!

Cop Supporter

April 1st, 2011
9:10 am

Very good, very true… :)


April 1st, 2011
3:09 pm

This sure was hard to find today…c’mon AJC.


April 4th, 2011
7:53 am

Why is the link to your blog not on the blogs.ajc.com?

big john

April 4th, 2011
5:23 pm

had to use the ajc search to find the article…worth the effort! :-)