John Perry Barlow’s List of Adult Principles

Pic of John Perry BarlowIn honor of John Perry Barlow’s passing I’d like to repost these adult principles that he wrote for himself when he turned 30 years old. He was surprised when he reached 30, spurring him to reflect on what it meant to indisputably become an ‘adult’. His response is as simple elegant and resonant as his lyrics in music and his believe in the power of community.

— pdl —

ADULT PRINCIPLES -John Perry Barlow

1 Be patient. No matter what.

2 Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.

3 Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.

4 Expand your sense of the possible.

5 Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.

6 Don’t ask more of others than you can deliver yourself.

7 Tolerate ambiguity.

8 Laugh at yourself frequently.

9 Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.

10 Try not to forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.

11 Give up blood sports.

12 Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.

13 Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)

14 Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.

15 Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.

16 Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.

17 Praise at least as often as you disparage.

18 Admit your errors freely and quickly.

19 Become less suspicious of joy.

20 Understand humility.

21 Remember that love forgives everything.

22 Foster dignity.

23 Live memorably.

24 Love yourself.

25 Endure.

Thank You JPB.

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About longpd

I'm a technologist and lapsed evolutionary biologist with an incandescent passion for new modes of seeing and learning.
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