According to Fred

At the beginning of this semester, my pharmacy classmates and I had the pleasure of hearing from Mr. Alfred Abramson (aka Fred). Fred had a wonderful story to tell! In this week’s post, I’d like to share with you a few of the things I learned from him as they are incredibly relevant not just to pharmacy students, but to any young, ambitious person. First, let me give you a little bit of background on Fred.

Fred was assistant professor of pharmacy practice and science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy from 1982 to 2012. Prior to teaching, he had a long, successful career as a pharmacist at his own independent community pharmacy. Throughout his time at the School of Pharmacy, Fred taught and mentored thousands of students. He is well known for his dedication toward producing graduates who understand the fundamentals of professionalism and pharmacy practice. For his excellence in teaching and devotion to his students and school, Fred received numerous awards and even had the pharmacy practice lab in Baltimore officially named after him.

But along with success, Fred has also had his fair share of life’s trials and tribulations. He’s learned a lot from his many experiences. And so Fred compiled a list entitled “Life’s Fifty Lessons” to help guide those of us who still have a whole lot of living to do. Below are a few of the lessons that really resonated with me when I first heard them. I hope you find Fred’s words of wisdom as useful as I have!

  • Spend your life lifting people up, not putting people down.
  • Don’t judge people by their relatives.
  • Start every day with the most important thing you have to do. Save the less important tasks for later.
  • When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  • Surprise an old friend with a phone call.
  • Don’t drive in a car if the driver has been drinking.
  • Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
  • Don’t confuse wealth with success.
  • Be the first to forgive.
  • Accept a breath mint if someone offers you one.
  • When you need professional advice, get it from professionals.
  • Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  • Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want.
  • Everyone loves praise. Look hard for ways to give it to them.
  • What you must do, do cheerfully.
  • Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  • When you say “I’m sorry,” look the person in the eye.
  • Don’t trust your memory; write it down.
  • Overestimate travel time by 15 percent.
  • Root for the home team.
  • Watch your attitude. It’s the first thing people notice about you.
  • Remember the ones who love you.
  • Don’t take anything personally. Notice less and you will live longer.
  • It is not a sin to make money.
  • The harder you work the luckier you get.
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