16 March 2011

Words to Live By From a Departed Friend

In January my friend, Tim Moellering, died after a two and half year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a long-time coach and teacher who dedicated his life to serving the community in which he grew up. I wrote briefly about his passing two months ago.
The gathering of over 600 people at his memorial service (there was later a separate service at Berkeley High School, where he had been teaching, that also drew a large crowd) helps illustrate the breadth and depth of the friendships he developed. I worked with Tim for almost 15 years and could go to him for the latest updates on the whereabouts and doings of scores of former students. Tim seemed to keep in touch with and be friends with just about everyone with whom he became acquainted. His was a life well lived.

I'd like to share Tim's rules to live by. I think that, considering how true he was to them, they give one the sense of why he was so special to so many people. Along with the manner in which he touched so many lives, they are part of his legacy.

Tim Moellering’s Ten Rules to Live By 

1. Have empathy for everyone.

If you remember or read, “To Kill a Mockingbird” you’ll learn from Atticus Finch. “Crawl in someone else’s skin and walk around in it.”
2. Tell the truth.

When you tell the truth you have less to remember. You know you never lied and eventually everyone will trust you.
3. Be reliable.

Do what you say you are going to do, even if it means showing up on time. People will trust you.
4. Assume positive intent.
Assume everything everyone does is with good intentions. If they are incompetent, so be it, but it doesn’t hurt you to assume they are doing their best. You will be able to understand their actions when you don’t judge.
5. Be physically active.

It’s better than any drug. It’s fun; it can be a big boon in your social life. If you are running an errand, walk or ride a bike because you will feel better. It may not be obvious at first, but it adds up.
6. Just do it.

If the choice is between sitting around and doing nothing or doing something, do something every single time.
7. Don’t blame anyone.
This is key. No one is to blame for anything. Only you can change what you do. If you blame someone else then you can’t solve the problem… instead, you are telling someone else to solve the problem. If you don’t blame other people then you will be able to take control.
8. Your possessions can be replaced.

People are obsessed with their possessions. It’s a terrible way of living by letting your possessions control you. When you let go of your possessions, you become free. There’s little relationship between wealth and happiness.
9. Carpe Diem.
“Seize the day.” 
Accomplish something everyday, otherwise you are wasting time. There’s always something wonderful to experience, go do it.
10. Solve your problems.
Some people like to have problems so that they have something to complain about. Don’t waste time. It also gives you something to do, something to strive for.

1 comment:

Fransuasita said...

A very balanced person with a well-furnished head. It is not easy to find people like that, but when it happens and we are aware of that, we can only give thanks for feeding our spirit and teach us to be better people. Thank you for sharing!