Monday, March 24, 2014

Thank Goodness It's Monday #453


David Starr Jordan (1851-1931), credited among such notables as Ruskin, Goethe and Emerson in our Volume of Contentment, was a new name to me. 

But as I’ve learned –

The oversight is mine. Impressive-to-me biographical material about him abounds online. 

The in-a-nutshell synopsis goes like this: David Starr Jordan was a leading ichthyologist, educator, peace activist, president of Indiana University, and was handpicked by Leland Stanford to become the founding president of Stanford University.

There’s more, of course. Much more. You can check it out in all its diversity, too. But before you click away, let’s look at our page:

Why this selection now?

One reason: Because it strikes a particularly personal chord in me.

The words run parallel to an approach to life that was passed along by my mother who died a decade or so ago. And while it’s likely no one would have asked her to start up their namesake university she, in striving to “play her part” as the Volume of Contentment frames Jordan’s creed, was pretty effective at living her days from her perspective as well.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to also share this Betty Steck (1921-2004) Daily Discipline with you.

She left a typewritten copy of the following words with her important family documents. While they are not original to her, she called them “The creed by which I try to live” and noted, “You will find these words over my kitchen sink where I read them at the beginning of each day.”

See the similarities in these approaches to the day and, more broadly, to life? 

Go ahead, call me a Momma’s Boy. I trust I’m not, of course, in the derisive sense of that phrase. But I do try to adhere to the mindset she meant to pass along.

The image above is the postcard-sized reproduction I had made of Betty’s kitchen-sink post up and distributed at her memorial service. This one hangs over my computer screen, thus the fuzzy photo and the hint of yellow wallpaper border. 

Another is on my dresser where the content of my pockets goes every evening and where it’s gathered at the start of each day. So there’s barely a day when I don’t bump hard into a tangible reminder of what I hope I have adapted as a lifelong behavior.

TGIM CHALLENGE: Got a “creed” by which you try to live? 

I’m sure you do. So how about this –

TGIM ACTION IDEA: Share it. For starters, post it up on social media with a little bit of explanation if necessary. Let us know – via “friend” request if Eric and I are not already connected with you on Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever -- so we can see and share in it if it’s not likely we’d catch a glimpse of it in passing.

Now is the time.
Go play your part.

Seize your unique day.

I’ve already started with mine. 

Geoff Steck
Chief Catalyst
Alexander Publishing & Marketing
8 Depot Square
Englewood, NJ 07631

P.S.  I’ve got a small bundle of “Today is mine” postcards left and I’d be honored to share them (supply permitting) with anyone who reaches out and tells me a physical address to which to snail mail it. Just put “Today is mine” in your subject line or on an envelope containing something with your postal address and send the info to me at either of the AP&M addresses above. That will start things rolling.  

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