Photo ID Required

Raveen brought her passport to the airport, in addition to her license.  She finds it easier to flash.  At first, I thought that was risky – one more thing to lose and a hard one to replace at that.  But when I heard about the cop who pulled her over in her neighborhood on the way to the airport, and then LOST her license, the passport thing sounded like a good lesson to learn!

Oh yeah – and then he found the license and pulled her over again to give it back.  And tried to ask her out!

Look to This Day

On this, the selected birthday (she had to pick something) of my Grandma Sara, I am sharing her favorite poem, from a sanskrit translation.  You can also find it on tea boxes and posters.  It is still profound.

Salutation to the Dawn

Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life,
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of beauty.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn

The Contribution Ethic

This came to me from my friend Barbara, as part of discussion on Personal Philosophy at Work – the author is listed below.

The Contribution Ethic

1. Just help. Make yourself useful. You aren’t just there, waiting. There’s no waiting. Just help.

2. A great player is worth less than a great teammate. (aka “The Steve Nash Effect” or “The Yankees’ Blunder”) A great player might or might not improve the group, but a great teammate always does. (Imagine a sales team of 10, each selling 10 units a month. A star might come in as the 11th employee and sell 50 percent more than everyone else, raising the group to 115. A great teammate, however, might come in and sell 12 units, but also help everyone else sell 12, raising the department’s output to 132. Thus, the great teammate seems to produce less but is actually more than twice as valuable.)

3. Your half is 60 percent.

4. Innovation is a subversive activity. You can’t expect management and/or co-workers to drool with excitement over your “I have an idea!” After all, most ideas are suggestions and most suggestions are complaints. On the other hand, if an idea is truly original, then expect resistance; indeed, welcome it as a measure of originality. Organizations are built for continuity not creativity. That’s why you need to demonstrate how the idea will work, and you might need the guerrilla’s wiles. Ideas are nothing next to proposals; proposals are nothing next to experiments.

5. Giving time without attention is a gift-wrapped empty box.

6. Assume the best. If you accept that every 10th person is a jerk and that you’re a jerk one-10th of the time, then you can meet the world with the smile of the victor, for the odds are with you.

7. Being right is overrated. If your goal is usefulness, then what matters is progress.

8. Being wrong is underrated. Admitting you were wrong is wisdom gained.

9. Always bring something to read.

10. Think like a hero; work like an artist. If the end is helpfulness, that’s the hero mind. If the means is exploration and learning, that’s the artist’s mind. When kindly attention meets curiosity, you move gracefully through the world.

Dale Dauten is a syndicated columnist. He can be reached at

Power Trip

Today I remembered, for about the millionth time, that if you have a device that needs a power cord, then the device and the cord should go through life, and through the day, hour by hour, together.  So if you are on some lonesome (or busy) highway with your 80-year-old eccentric mother, and she has the directions to some important place just enough wrong that you can’t find it, and you have a GPS for just that very purpose, then IF you had the power cord, then the GPS would actually be helpful.