Less Than Zer0

“They think that I’ve got no respect, but, everything means less than zero.”–Elvis Costello

Words to Live By. November 22, 2008

Those who know me personally can undoubtedly confirm that I have trouble keeping my mouth shut. At least I’m aware of it.  As a consequence, I tend to collect advice on how to stay quiet.  Two of my favorites:

It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say, and then don’t say it.–Sam Levenson

Think before you speak. Read before you think. This will give you something to think about that you didn’t make up yourself-a wise move at any age, but most especially at seventeen when you are in greatest danger of coming to annoying conclusions.–Fran Lebowitz

For wisdom less witty, but certainly just as practical, four questions generally attributed to His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

  1. Is it TRUE?
  2. Is it NECESSARY?
  3. Is it KIND?
  4. Is it HELPFUL?

I find these to be excellent checkpoints in conversation, whether the “should I or shouldn’t I?” question applies to a juicy bit of gossip or a difficult business/academic matter. I’d probably fare better if I used them more often.

For Amanda (roll over for captions):