Last week, John Perry Barlow died at the age of 70. I got a chance to meet him once and I was mesmerized by his extraordinary life. He was a lyricist for the Grateful Dead when he was young, an early advocate for digital rights and free expression when he was older, and a cowboy and Republican politician in between.
But one of his most lasting contributions is a short document that he wrote in 1977 and titled “Principles of Adult Behavior.” It’s simple — a one-page list. But its wisdom-to-word-count ratio is as high as I’ve encountered. Among the gems:
— Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
— Praise at least as often as you disparage.
— Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
Take some time to read the entire list: Principles of Adult Behavior.