Know When To Go!

3 precepts that help guide us through life.

Photo by Gunnar Bengtsson on Unsplash

The 1st “precept” (love that word) helped to ensure my survival as a teenager but it should be a life rule as well. It is “know when to go”. It saved my butt on more than one occasion. I can’t attribute this bit of wisdom to someone else. It’s just something the survival gods blessed me with. My high sense of self preservation and a sixth sense for when to leave the party before trouble erupted or the local constable arrived only elevated my rep in high school (and we all know how important that was). If self preservation and consequence classes were taught in elementary school we might have fewer juvenile delinquents in high school.


The second “precept” (still a cool word) is the most important one for sure and was passed to me by my dad on the golf course around about 1965 I think. He didn’t know it at the time or mean it to be a life lesson (but how should I know for sure) but more than any other unsolicited bit of advice from him it has served me well many times over the years and is now a go-to pearl of wisdom in my daughter’s family also. I remember being with dad on the elevated sixth tee at Montague Golf Club in Vermont. Dad was the club pro there at the time. The sixth at Montague was 160 yards with nothing between me and the green but 155 yards of deep dark wooded abyssness. I was 13 years old, didn’t have a stellar track record on this hole and “doubt” is a golfer’s worse enemy. Dad said “what’s the worst thing you can do here?. Wow, could it be that easy? My shot was long by a club length and I was never afraid of that hole again. Imagine if the Capital Police had used this precept on January 6th, 2021?


The third “precept” to live by was bestowed on dad by his dad and before that his father’s business mentor and then passed down to me in the mid eighties when I left a very good position in the federal government to open a retail company (risky business). It was kind of an off handed remark that, had it not struck my fancy could have been lost to the ether in that slightly heated conversation. I filed it away at the time but recalled it later. It works literally but also as a metaphor for other situations. It was you can’t make a living on a large volume of small losses”. Think about it.

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