What is your motto to live by?

Yesterday I was asked a question:  What is your motto to live by?  Ummm, I said.  I might have to come back to you on that.  Because I wasn’t sure I had one.  A motto, that is.

I mean, what is a motto?

 :a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or institution.
Wham!  I was catapulted right back to the 70s and my old school motto – Serve God and be Cheerful.  So very suburban.  Not ‘be passionate’ or ‘be wild’ or ‘be fantastic’ or even ‘be serene’ but serve and be sodding cheerful.  Where does it come from?  Much as we mocked it as teenagers, none of us ever thought to question its origins.  A quick Google finds it was the motto of a 17th century English bishop and was then turned into a hymn.  And then, what the heck, Bob Dylan used it in Cross the Green Mountain. 
“Serve God and be cheerful, look upward, beyond, beyond the darkness of masks, the surprises of dawn, in the deep green grasses of the blood-stained world.”
But seriously, what are the beliefs and ideals that guide me?
I like this:  “Your life is a result of the choices you make…if you don’t like your life, it is time to start making better choices.”  But it’s too long.  How about, “Don’t complain about things you’re not willing to change”?   Still a bit unwieldy for the badge.
“Don’t be a whiny little shit?”
I also like: “Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.”  Said by Pema Chodron who always makes good sense.  But, again, it would wind itself around the whole blazer, not just the badge.  Or how about, “Never water yourself down just because someone can’t handle you at 100 proof”.  I’ve been watering myself down for so very long now, I’m about as biceped as Babycham.  But no…
How about you?
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Leave a Comment