Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Rules to Live By

These argiope aurantia spiders who live in our garden
epitomize the idea of "being where you are"
In a recent job interview, I was asked whether I have a personal motto.  At the time, I couldn't think of anything other than my favorite Kermit the Frog quote, "It's not easy being green," which was a bit of a non sequitur.

Of course, as soon as I went home and started talking to my friends and family members, I was reminded of past conversations in which I had articulated some pretty good rules I try to live by:

1) Leave more than you take.

(My husband and I came up with this rule on a long hike on Mackinac Island in Michigan's northern lower peninsula when we were considering what we might put on a family "coat of arms." We were inspired by the park's "carry in/ carry out" policy, but we wanted to extend it to contributions of time and energy in the world.)

2) Be where you are.

(This rule is even older.  I began thinking about this idea during my daily commutes on the PATH train from Jersey City to Manhattan when I worked at the 9/11 Memorial.  Usually, I'd listen to music or podcasts, but occasionally my battery would run out and I'd realize that I was standing on a train full of other people, and I had an opportunity just to think about where I was in the world and in my life with no other distractions for an hour of my day, every day.  From a practical perspective, this rule would eliminate annoying behaviors like texting while driving and walking into people on the sidewalk...)

3) Any time you ask a question, have a genuine interest in hearing the answer.

(This last rule comes from Nina Simon's The Participatory Museum. But I realize that I have tried and will continue to try to apply it in my work and personal life.  It is the key to communication.)

1 comment:

Frederick Guyton said...

Your rules are to the point! Each of them should be important for every person. We should remember them. And my rule is to trucs professionals for example from here For more information and to apply.