Two Universal Life Rules I Learned From Being a Girl Scout

Yes, I really was a Girl Scout.  I started as a Brownie and finished as a Senior.  I learned many things during that time- how to build a fire, how to identify edible foods in ‘the wild’ (meaning not in a grocery store), macramé, the art of crafting the perfect s’more and every word of “Little Bunny Foo Foo”.  I also learned that as much as I loved those cookies I was never going to desire a sales career.

There were two things the Girl Scouts drilled in to our heads from the beginning that not only have served me well but are universally true in every conceivable situation.  As of yet, I have not found a single situation where they do not apply.

Rule #1- Always Be Prepared.

I like being ready for a situation when I walk in a room.  I do not like to be caught off guard.  I like to have the knowledge I need.  Going into a room being under dressed makes me want to cry. I still have that occasional dream of wandering the halls in high school and I can’t get my math book out of my locker.  Yes, you could say it’s my own anxiety that drives this but being prepared has never proven to be a bad strategy.

*Work– Who wants to be that person who comes to the meeting without anything to bring to the table? If you aren’t ready to go but Joe has read the reports ahead of time, who looks more intelligent? It doesn’t matter that Joe doesn’t know what to do with that information, he now has created an illusion for the boss that he was the one in the room with his act together. How’s that promotion coming?

*Family–  You really need to get your ducks in a row before having children and once you have them you need to have a plan to just keep them in your own pond, or near the shore, or at the very least out of somebody else’s pond.

*Finances– You know eventually that water tank is going to blow and at that point if you weren’t ready for it, that ice cold shower will motivate you to finally build that emergency fund.

*Road trips– There are reasons why people keep jumper cables, spare tires, and flares in their car.  If you don’t know what those reasons are, I am sure it will come to you while you are stuck in the middle of a deserted road in the middle of Podunk USA.

*Serendipity– Yes!  We even need to be prepared for the unexpected! At minimum the idea should be to always expect the unexpected! If we are, we can better navigate our way and collect the valuable nuggets on our journey if things go south.

Leaving things in better shape than you found them is never a bad idea. Click To Tweet

Rule #2- Leave Things As Good- or Better- Than You Found Them

Can anyone give me any situation where this is a bad thing to do?  Isn’t this just common courtesy?

*Friends– If you borrow things and don’t return them in good shape, you quickly will lose either all your friends or your ability to be a socially sanctioned moocher. This applies to partying as well. Once out of college, frat life behavior becomes very unappealing.  No one wants to clean up your mess.

*Housing– It costs you money if you trash that apartment and it just makes you look trashy. It also casts suspicion over your mother’s parenting skills. Taking care of things is the least we can do for Mama’s reputation.

*The Environment– Even if you don’t want to believe in the scientific evidence presented from multiple global sources and instead think that global warming is ‘just a cycle’ and pollution isn’t ‘that bad’, what harm can be done by taking care of and maintaining life giving resources? You know, those same resources we want to pass down to other generations.

*Relationships– When they aren’t working anymore it is better for everyone’s sanity to not ‘trash the camp’ before you leave.  You can keep those ‘below the belt’ comments and ‘scorched earth’ ways to yourself.  It’s good policy and the added bonus is that it helps avoid stalking and revenge scenarios in most cases.

*Social Circles– The saying “People remember not what you say but how you make them feel” is very accurate.  So when you exit a room make sure you make them feel at least good enough to let you back in.

Two very good rules.  Thank you Girl Scouts of America.

Photo credit: JustyCinMd

What universal rules do you have in your life? Where did you learn them?


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