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What I Believe

This time of year is always marked by resolutions and renewed (or perhaps only revisited) faith.  The end of one year and the beginning of a new one seems to trigger a pause inside most of us, and I think that’s all to the good.

Yet, even in the midst of contemplating the changes to be wrought in fulfilling resolutions, I thought it appropriate to revisit what I believe:

Life Section

  1. I believe that grammar saves lives.
  2. I believe my wife is a better person than I am and that if I just pay attention once in a while, I could learn something.
  3. I believe in architecture that stops the motion of a city with a pause.
  4. I believe the more mundane something is, the more powerful the effect of design can be.
  5. I believe in the power of TED.
  6. I believe a worthwhile goal is to be half the man my dog thinks I am.
  7. I believe the Golden Rule is wrong.
  8. I believe everyone is fighting a secret battle others know nothing about.
  9. I believe in paying homage to everyday things done exceptionally well.
  10. I believe that there is a secret craft to every endeavor, no matter how seemingly trivial or mundane.
  11. I believe that once you happen upon someone really excited about what they do, you have to make a point to keep them around.
  12. I believe in kickoff returns and home plate collisions…provided I’m watching them from my couch.
  13. I believe that no one checks their watch in a conversation worth having.
  14. I believe that “9 out of 10 dentists” has been irrevocably supplanted by “Likes.”
  15. I believe that with great power comes great responsibility.  (I’m looking at you, Angie’s List.)
  16. I believe everyone should have at least 3 books they’re itching to read.
  17. I believe most everybody believes there are people out there who think less of them because they let others down.
  18. I believe that the vast majority of the supposed “victims” of the slights above, if asked, would have no idea what the person is talking about.
  19. I believe in “Merry Christmas,” and that people who say it are being friendly and sincere and that they are not, somehow conveying a disrespect for my religion.

Work Section

  1. I believe that the most valuable person in any company may very well be that former Renaissance English major who can’t program worth a lick but can communicate exceedingly well.
  2. I believe that the oft-dismissed trait of being nice is an essential part of being a leader.
  3. I believe every CEO needs someone in his or her inner circle who has the primary function of weeding out the crazy.
  4. I believe everyone truly in touch with their organization knows at least two people who truly need to go.
  5. I believe that e-mailing, texting, inboxing, posting, snapchatting, skype-ing, and commenting are all a distant second to sharing a cup of coffee.
  6. I believe anything less than true enthusiasm and passion to be a veneer that will crack under pressure.
  7. I believe empathy is profitable.
  8. I believe social media can be a company’s greatest defense against commoditization.
  9. I believe it’s irrelevant whether you or not you like social media.
  10. I believe in the Oxford comma.
  11. I believe good marketing will make a bad product fail faster.  (David Ogilvy)

Random Section

  1. I believe just about everyone I know over the age of 40 could recite at least two lines from Elf, the Godfather, or Monty Python’s Holy Grail, upon demand.
  2. I believe that my NAV system is a gift from God.
  3. I believe Seinfeld to be a cultural touchstone.
  4. I believe one of the greatest inventions of our time is that little orange or yellow citrus peeler you can still get for a dollar.
  5. I believe the egg nog my family has been making from my father’s recipe since 1969 is the world’s best.
  6. I believe there should be a support group for people weaning themselves off of Candy Crush.
  7. I believe DC characters made better comic books, but Marvel characters make better movies…and it’s not close.
  8. I believe that teenagers who go trick-or-treating without a costume deserve to get last year’s leftovers.
  9. I believe It’s a Wonderful Life (the black and white version) to be the world’s best Christmas movie, followed closely by Elf.

Grumpy Old Man Section

  1. I believe the following people, with each incident, move a little closer to hell — those who:
    1. humble brag about their kids on Facebook;
    2. post incessant Elf-on-the-Shelf pictures;
    3. use social media to show pictures of bruises, sickness or bodily fluids;
    4. leave “teaser” posts which they don’t explain but are solely designed to get comments;
    5. circulate shocking stories created to validate religious or political views without check them through Snopes;
    6. post any variety of the “the 97% of you who don’t share this hate our service men and women or want to hurt puppies.”
    7. Confuse social media with advertising
    8. I believe people who take umbrage at being wished a “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays” must be truly blessed because, apparently, they have nothing of actual substance to worry about.

I’m now accepting nominations for other rules of work and life, if you’d care to share.  I’ll publish a follow-up list of the best when we reach critical mass.

What’s on your list?