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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Friend of mine loaned me an interesting book.

Coffee shop buddy Ed thought I might enjoy "The Words We Live By," a book by Brian Burrell. It is subtitled "The creeds, mottoes, and pledges that have shaped America." Ed's right. I enjoyed.

Do you know, for example, that the motto of the US Postal Service really isn't? The words, "Neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night..." were written as an inscription on New York City's main postal building. Nothing more, nothing less...but still a good read and better image. Forty-two cents still goes a long way.

Did you know that The Golden Rule, "Do unto others..." is repeated in many languages and by many religions and organizations in one form or another..."What is right for one is fair for another", "Do good to yourself with as little evil as possible to another," etc. because it espouses fairness.

There is a Declaration of Principles by the Pacific Ice Cream Manufacturer's Association, The Boy Scout's Laws, The Marquess of Queensberry rules that govern boxing, A Mid-wife's Oath, Parkinson's Laws, Murphy's Laws, etc.

Of course, the book covers all of the biggies... The Pledge Allegiance, Ten Commandments and more... but its greatest interest to me is in it's coverage of the obscure:

A Stick-Up Man's Code (I will not kill anyone unless I have to, I will take cash and food stamps--no checks, I will rob only seven months out of the year...you get the idea), The Chicago Cubs team rules from 1913 (No, one of the rules was NOT to ever win another World Series) and my favorite, a list compiled by the owner of New York's Empire Diner: Be nice. Don't shout. Sit up straight. Don't play with your food. Have a nice day. Take care. Don't be a stranger. Murry, call your mother.

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