Lefler’s Laws of Life—DC McAllister

 

Our fourth child is about to graduate from high school and will be heading off to my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in the fall. I thought a fun graduation present would be a collection of pearls of wisdom to carry with her as she embarks on a new stage of life — one in which she’ll have to navigate between liberal professors rewriting history and frat boys trying to convince her they have noble intentions when they invite her back to the Pi Kappa Phi house for a “nightcap.”

I guess I could just give her a copy of Proverbs or George Washington’s Rules of Civility, but I’m a nerd at heart, so Ensign Robin Lefler’s essential laws of life from Star Trek Next Generation (“The Game”) came to mind.

Lefler, played by Ashley Judd, had a thing for Wesley Crusher and shared with him her Lefler’s Laws—“Every time I learn something essential, I make up a law about it so I never forget.” (Has Wil Wheaton ever dished on kissing Ashley? I’m tempted to Google, but I’ll let our resident Wesley expert, Amy Schley, comment on that…). 

Her insights ranged from jewels like “You gotta go with what works” to “Getting information out of Zak Kebron is like interrogating a statue.” (I think I dated him!) Oh, and who can forget Wesley’s favorite, “A couple of light years can’t keep good friends apart.” Considering that Ashley never showed up on Star Trek again, I’d say that didn’t quite pan out.

Picking up on that theme, here’s a few of mine to get us started:

“Distance makes the heart grow fonder—until someone closer comes along.”

“Everyone tells you exactly who they are if you pay attention and listen.” (Especially applicable to romantic relationships. A guy always tells you who he is early on—an insecure creep or a heartless loser—if you just pay attention and listen. In other words, “Red Flags Mean Something!”)

And then there’s my favorite: “Show the kind of grace you want shown to you—except when you’re dealing with a selfish, narcissistic psychopath. Then get the hell out. Fast!”

Boy, those sound bitter. How about this one for a more positive approach: “When it comes to relationships, showing love is more important than being right.”

So, what life lessons do you have to contribute to Lefler’s Laws?

Stad, don’t disappoint me—What’s the secret to that beautiful marriage you have?!

Blondie—I’m counting on you sharing the recipe to that infectious smile … and please don’t tell me it has something to do with being a Wolfpack. :)

There are 36 comments.

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  1. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Be the kind of partner/friend/spouse you think you deserve.

    • #1
  2. user_1938 Member
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    My favorite, courtesy of The Mugwump: “Be the first to put your hands on a problem.”

    Always treat people better than they treat you. Raise the bar.

    When you’re hurt, don’t grow callous. Grow strong. 

    If you’re half as pretty as your mother, open a Ricochet account and post frequent pictures.

    • #2
  3. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    I thought a fun graduation present would be a collection of pearls of wisdom to carry with her as she embarks on a new stage of life —

    You said it! A girl could always use a nice strand of pearls. :)

    Your post was timely as my niece and namesake is graduating this week from U-Michigan. She is receiving the ‘Elizabeth’ ring made of pearls and diamonds and passed on from my great-grandmother, grandmother, aunt and then to me because of the “E” moniker we all shared.

    Congrats to you and your daughter!

    • #3
  4. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Learning to fail well is probably the most reliable recipe for success.

    • #4
  5. Troy Senik, Ed. Contributor
    Troy Senik, Ed.
    @TroySenik

    Aaron Miller:

    If you’re half as pretty as your mother, open a Ricochet account and post frequent pictures.

    Microagression. 

    • #5
  6. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    D.C. McAllister: Our fourth child is about to graduate from high school and will be heading off to my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

     Nooooooo!!!  Tell her to transfer to N.C. State.  MY alma mater is better than YOURS!  Hehe . . .

    • #6
  7. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Troy Senik, Ed.:

    Aaron Miller:

    If you’re half as pretty as your mother, open a Ricochet account and post frequent pictures.

     

    Microagression.

    Worried that DC might be more beautiful than you, Troy?

    • #7
  8. Petty Boozswha Inactive
    Petty Boozswha
    @PettyBoozswha

    If she’s willing to lower herself and date an underclassman my son – a true gentleman – will be joining her in Chapel Hill in 2015.

    • #8
  9. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Not thinking twice about kneeing guys in the groin can save a gal a lot of heartbreak.

    • #9
  10. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    @DCMcAllister

    Aaron Miller:

    My favorite, courtesy of The Mugwump: “Be the first to put your hands on a problem.”

    Always treat people better than they treat you. Raise the bar.

    When you’re hurt, don’t grow callous. Grow strong.

    If you’re half as pretty as your mother, open a Ricochet account and post frequent pictures.

    She’s more lovely and smarter than I could ever hope to be. I’m very proud of her and will miss her terribly. 

    • #10
  11. D.C. McAllister Inactive
    D.C. McAllister
    @DCMcAllister

    Stad:

    D.C. McAllister: Our fourth child is about to graduate from high school and will be heading off to my alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Nooooooo!!! Tell her to transfer to N.C. State. MY alma mater is better than YOURS! Hehe . . .

     Well, her brother is at State so we have our bases covered. :)

    • #11
  12. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.”

    ;-)

    • #12
  13. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Lately being a Pack fan does not aid in the smiling department!  
    Always remember you never know what someone else may be going through.  A simple smile may just make their day.  I think that comes from being a nurse for so long.  There is always someone else with worse troubles than you.  
    When times get tough, there’s always prayer.
    Congratulations to your daughter!
    Oh, and make sure she visits her brother often to meet some decent guys (right, Stad?)!!!

    • #13
  14. Bkelley14 Inactive
    Bkelley14
    @Bkelley14

    Most young college guys are neither “insecure creeps or heartless losers.” They are just trying to make their way like anyone else. Maybe girls need to consider that, too.

    • #14
  15. Pilli Inactive
    Pilli
    @Pilli

    1)  Be honest with yourself.
    2)  Be honest with others.
    3)  Don’t make excuses.
    4)  Don’t lower your standards for temporary popularity.  In other words, if you have a nagging doubt about whether you should do something…don’t do it.
    5)  Call home at least twice a month.  More often is better.
    6)  Everyone has an agenda.  The sooner you know what they are the sooner you can deal with them.
    7)  You have an agenda.  The sooner you know what it is, the sooner you can deal with it.
    8)  Go to church every Sunday.
    9)  The first thing each morning ask yourself, “When I look back in 10 years, will I be proud of what I do today?”
    10)  The last thing each night ask yourself, “When I look back in 10 years will I be proud of what I did today?”

    • #15
  16. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Your Mom is your most valuable resource.  Send her lots of newsy letters, to tell her about what’s going on with you, and to keep those valuable letter-writing skills fresh.

    • #16
  17. Howellis Inactive
    Howellis
    @ManWiththeAxe

    Make sure you major in a department where the classes actually meet.

    • #17
  18. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    You are G-d’s own representative in this world, invested with a piece of the divine. Make it count.

    • #18
  19. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    A couple of weeks back I sent some online friends a little package of poems by Czeslaw Milosz (I’ve mentioned him before on Ricochet as my favorite poet).  While I was making the package, I found a page devoted to quotes from CM.  This is one I took from that page, an old man’s wisdom I guess, but you never can tell when you might need it.  
    *
    …in our lives we should not succumb to despair because of our errors and our sins, for the past is never closed down and receives the meaning we give it by our subsequent acts.

    • #19
  20. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    notmarx:

    A couple of weeks back I sent some online friends a little package of poems by Czeslaw Milosz (I’ve mentioned him before on Ricochet as my favorite poet). While I was making the package, I found a page devoted to quotes from CM…
    * …in our lives we should not succumb to despair because of our errors and our sins, for the past is never closed down and receives the meaning we give it by our subsequent acts.

    Hmm, and here I thought we were not to succumb to despair from our errors and sins because sunk costs are sunk.

    It takes only a threshold level of intelligence to acknowledge intellectually that sunk costs are sunk. It takes great courage to  live  as if sunk costs are sunk.

    • #20
  21. notmarx Member
    notmarx
    @notmarx

    Maybe past my bedtime, but I’m not clear on what “sunk costs are sunk” means.  Is it that the past is past and should not be dwelt on?  If so, I respectfully disagree.  To quote another Nobelist, William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Energy spent avoiding that truth is misspent.  

    Is this a localism that everybody from the rattlesnake’s neighborhood gets, but nobody outside has a clue to?

    • #21
  22. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    notmarx:

    Maybe past my bedtime, but I’m not clear on what “sunk costs are sunk” means. Is it that the past is past and should not be dwelt on?

    No, it just means that you can’t change sunk costs, so don’t bother trying. You’re better off spending your energy on weighing relative prospective costs instead. People don’t always seem so good at doing this, though:

    In traditional microeconomic theory, only prospective (future) costs are relevant to an investment decision. Traditional economics proposes that economic actors should not let sunk costs influence their decisions. Doing so would not be rationally assessing a decision exclusively on its own merits. Alternatively, a decision-maker might make rational decisions according to their own incentives, outside of efficiency or profitability. This is considered to be an incentive problem and is distinct from a sunk cost problem.

    Evidence from behavioral economics suggests this theory fails to predict real-world behavior. Sunk costs do, in fact, influence actors’ decisions because humans are prone to loss aversion and framing effects. In light of such cognitive quirks, it is unsurprising that people frequently fail to behave in ways that economists deem “rational”.

    • #22
  23. user_348375 Inactive
    user_348375
    @TrinityWaters

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Not thinking twice about kneeing guys in the groin can save a gal a lot of heartbreak.

     Thinking before kneeing would be more merciful and wise.

    • #23
  24. user_348375 Inactive
    user_348375
    @TrinityWaters

    iWc:

    You are G-d’s own representative in this world, invested with a piece of the divine. Make it count.

     What’s with the clumsy treatment of the simple word, God?  Does that Word merit censorship?


    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    :

    Not thinking twice about kneeing guys in the groin can save a gal a lot of heartbreak.

     Thinking before kneeing would be more merciful and wise.

    • #24
  25. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Tom Riehl:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    Not thinking twice about kneeing guys in the groin can save a gal a lot of heartbreak.

    Thinking before kneeing would be more merciful and wise.

    Actually, it’s not.

    It’s better to reflexively head off a gross violation of sexual boundaries  before  it happens, for both the girl and the guy.

    I know because I  did  think twice, and paid the price. The guy presumably paid a price, too: not learning sooner rather than later assaulting girls was inappropriate –  even criminal, had I chosen to report him.

    Girls should never be afraid to slap, punch, kick, knee, whatever… Whatever will effectively communicate “no!” to a horny, oblivious, guy. Drawing a gun, if you had one, would probably also work.

    • #25
  26. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Look, if a guy assaults you, but stops short of rape, isn’t it kinder to him to send him to the emergency room with testicular fracture than it is to subject him to the full majesty of the law, which in all likelihood will brand him a sex-offender for life?

    Guys sometimes do some stupid, hormone-crazed things, and they’re usually physically stronger than girls. A girl who thinks twice about defending herself risks losing her nerve altogether or missing the opportunity to catch him off guard before something worse happens.

    • #26
  27. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    On the local news the other night was an All-American football player who came back to visit campus.  He played in 1947, and was 87 years old.  He said his mother gave him one word of advice when he went to college.  He said he took it to heart and still hears it in his head nearly everyday.  The word was, “Behave”.

    • #27
  28. 6foot2inhighheels Member
    6foot2inhighheels
    @6foot2inhighheels

    Keep in mind that others may be doing their best under circumstances you don’t fully appreciate.

    • #28
  29. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Tom Riehl:

    iWc:

    You are G-d’s own representative in this world, invested with a piece of the divine. Make it count.

    What’s with the clumsy treatment of the simple word, God? Does that Word merit censorship?

    We are not to take His name in vain. To Torah Jews, that means not only not throwing a divine name around in casual conversation, but it is also an injunction to not erase the written name of G-d (as in using the backspace on a keyboard).  All words have power in all languages, we also avoid spelling out G O D for fear that we may  either erase it, or use it too casually.

    Think of it as the mirror image of foul language: we consider it to be more civilized to refrain from powerful words except when they are precisely correct, and necessary for the context.  

    • #29
  30. Patrickb63 Coolidge
    Patrickb63
    @Patrickb63

    Never forget, you are a precious gift from God.
    Boys are evil.   (For my sons I tell them girls are evil)
    Fast food causes problems with your wallet as well as your stomach.
    There is nothing you can do that will make me stop loving you, so if you get into trouble you can call me any time day or night.
    No man will ever love you like your Daddy does.
    Have fun, but be careful.

    • #30

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