The University of Hard Knocks

Ralph Parlette has thrilled audiences across America with his message from the University of Hard Knocks. He has lectured four thousand times on the basic fundamental principles of living which have made a people strong, and a nation great. He fortified his listeners for the struggles of life.

This is the type of book that will help all people, young and old, as they face the stress and strain of life.

“After you have read this book, it will still do you good to review it and meditate upon it at least every six months – it’s that kind of book.”  -Leroy Brownlow

This fascinating book comes right down to where we live in our everyday lives. It is inspirational, motivational, and even comical at times.

Here are a few statements that caught my attention:

Chapter I – The Book of Bumps

Every life lesson is called a “bump.”  If we learn the lesson from one bump, we do not get that bump again. We do not need it. We get promoted to the next bump. We never graduate.  When we stop learning, we are due for another bump.

There are two kinds of people: Wise people and Fools. The fools are the people who think they have graduated.

The playground is all God’s universe. The university colors are black and blue. The yell is “ouch” repeated ad lib.

As we get bumped and battered on life’s pathway, we discover we get two kinds of bumps — bumps that we need and bumps that we don’t need. Bumps that we bump into, and bumps that bump into us.

We discover, in other words, that the University of Hard Knocks has two colleges—-the College of Needless Knocks, and the College of Needful knocks.

We attend both colleges.

Chapter 2 – The College of Needless Bumps

“How I had to be bumped to learn better! Now when I get bumped, I try to learn the lesson of the bump and find the right path so that when I see that bump coming again I can say, ‘Excuse me; it hath a familiar look,’ and I dodge it.”

Chapter 4 – Shake the Barrel

The very routine of life must everyday flash a new attractiveness. We must be learning new things and discovering new joys in our daily routine or we become unhappy.  If we go on doing just the same things in the same way day after day, thinking the same thoughts, turning around and around in our same places, we become mere machines. The joy and juice go out of our lives.

The success, joy and glory of life are in learning, growing, going forward and upward.

The farmer must be learning new things about farming.  The minister must be getting a larger vision of the ministry. The teacher must be seeing new possibilities in the same old school room. The mother must be getting a larger horizon in her homemaking. “We only live as we grow and learn.”

We must get ready for things before we get them.

All life is preparation for greater things.


More than a million people have sat in audiences in all parts of the United States and have listened to the “University of Hard Knocks.” Ralph Parlette’s lectures are so down to earth because they deal with universal human experiences.

You can enjoy reading this book FREE online, or on your kindle. You can also purchase a hard or soft-cover copy through


Sign up to receive the latest articles delivered to your inbox as soon as they are posted.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.