The Official
"De Re Seal Of Approval"
Running List Of Life Lessons

Proposed Life Lessons

The Life Lessons are constantly evolving. From time to time, the Advisory Board considers new submissions. To encourage transparency, proposed Life Lessons currently under consideration will be available here. If you would like to weigh in or propose your own Life Lesson, please contact us.

Proposal #1: Never Answer A Question Unless You Know Why It Is Being Asked

Any time you are asked a question, there is always an underlying reason for the query. Sometimes the purpose is facially evident. For example, "what time is it?" is a question with clear intent. Other questions are much more ambiguous. In order to give a proper (read: jam avoiding) response, you should know the underlying reason for the question. For example, "what do you think of [person]?" can mean various things. Perhaps the asker doesn't like the person and is looking for a negative response (or likes the person and wants a positive affirmation). Alternatively, the asker may be looking for a genuine judge of character for someone they don't know. There are two ways to avoid a jam in this scenario. One is to know the reason for the question and answer accordingly. The second is to avoid an answer by declining to respond or giving a vague non-committal response. In sum, the only way to know what answer is appropriate is to know why the question is being asked.

Proposal #2: Just Ask

Many jams can be avoided by just asking someone for help. For example, if you are looking for an item in a store, you can save valuable time by just asking a sales associate where the item is located. Other times, the application of this potential Life Lesson may be less mundane, such as if you are trying to get to a business meeting or job interview and cannot find the appropriate room. On the other hand,this potential Life Lesson may create potential jams in situations where one does not want their ignorance to be known. However, if one was to carefully adhere to the other Life Lessons, particularly Life Lesson #20: Master the Fundamentals, there should not be a situation wherein the detriment from exposing one's ignorance would outweigh the benefit of just asking. Nevertheless, this potential for jam creation cannot be ignored, and further evaluation is necessary. If you have an opinion on this matter, please contact the Advisory Board.

Proposal #3: Some Combination of Proposals #1 and #2

Because Proposals #1 and #2 both involve the asking and answering of questions, and the Life Lessons strive to be brief and succinct, an ideal new Life Lesson would combine the best aspects of Proposals #1 and #2. In theory, such a combination would address the shortfalls of Proposal #2 discussed above, while maintaining the crucial jam avoidance possibilities of both Proposals. Unfortunately, the Advisory Board has been unsuccessful in its attempts to merge these two Proposals into a new Life Lesson. If you have a way to resolve this impasse, please contact the Advisory Board.

Proposal #4: Everything Is A Work, Don't Be A Mark

In professional wrestling, when something is a “work,” it means that it is all just part of the show. For example, two wrestlers may appear to hate each other in the ring, even though they are good friends in real life. In that case, their animosity would just be a “work” designed solely to rile up the fans. The concept of a “work” extends beyond professional wrestling, however. Politics is a great example; a politician is almost expected to break their campaign promises, no matter how much he or she claims to be committed to a particular cause. As such, it is always important to stay vigilant and ensure that you do not become a “mark” (i.e., someone who falls for the scam).