I’ve been at my current job for four years. During that whole time, there has been a homemade sign hanging up in the bathroom stall: LADIES PLEASE REMEMBER THAT OTHERS USE THE RESTROOM BEHIND YOU!! PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS AND CLEAN UP BEHIND YOURSELVES. ALSO THE AIR FRESHNER (sic) IS HERE TO USE. THANKS TO ALL.
I know that we all think these things. Hey! use the air freshener! But how often are you agitated enough that you take the time to compose a note. Then you stop, evaluate, and add pleasantries like “ladies” and “thanks to all.” Then you print it. Then you try and find tape (which is not easy in a modern office for some reason). Then you walk all the way down to the bathroom and wait for people to leave the stalls so you can post your notes. That takes some strong feelings and some great follow through. That tenacity is then rewarded with bathroom sign immortality. Four years!! No one touches that sign–the edges may be tattered and curled, but the message lives on. It occured to me the other day as I was, um, thinking in there, that this was like a modern day proverb. There may have been a ridiculously disproportionate initial outlay of effort compared to the actual situation, but then your words live on.
Have you read any good proverbs lately? There are some gems in there. Some favorites: Proverbs 6:6: Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise. That is some lasting sluggard-disgust there. 3000 years later and we’re still reading about it. Another: Proverbs 29:3: Whoever loves wisdom brings joy to his father; But a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. Actually, that’s pretty good advice–I’m not going to mock it. Read Proverbs 31 lately? There’s this guy named Lemuel and his mother doesn’t like his girlfriend. 3000 years later, and the girl is anonymous, but mama is immortalized. Words are power.
I’m trying to think of advice that I would feel strongly enough about to write it down for hundreds of generations to read: Look before you leap? Carpe Diem? Actually, I think “ALSO THE AIR FRESHNER IS HERE TO USE” is probably the best advice I could give. What about you? What life proverbs do you feel strongly enough about that you would preserve them for future generations, or at the very least find tape and post on the bathroom wall?