A talented artist I know, Jon L. Adams, includes a personal manifesto on his website. It got me thinking about what I believe and how I want to live. I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list, but for now, here it is:

Love is a renewable energy source. Keep giving it away. You’ll never run out.

Ask questions. People love to talk about themselves.

Listen like you don’t have another thing to do.

Words can be lethal weapons. Choose them wisely. Once spoken, they can never be taken back.

Give away the last dollar in your pocket. It will come back to you tenfold.

Protect those who can’t protect themselves.

Live, work, and love with passion.

If you hate your life, stop complaining and make a new one.

Unstick those tight muscles, work that jaw, and smile.

When you’re outside, really breathe.

Daydream often. What can be visualized can become reality.

Believe in a force greater than yourself. Call it what you will.

Find the gem in everyone you meet, even if you have to dig through a ton of coal.

Believe people when they tell you who they are. But then look beyond their faulty self-vision.

Never mistake a thin, sheetrock wall for an impenetrable fortress. If there’s a moat and the drawbridge isn’t lowered, swim across. Most people want to be found.

Watch a child sleep. There’s no greater peace.

When a friend can’t stand on his own, carry him on your back.

Giving is its own reward.

Show appreciation always.

Tell/show people you love them always.

Respect yourself and others.

Sit still in nature every day and appreciate the miracle around you.

Try new things and meet new people.

Read, read, read, and learn.

Write, write, write. There is nothing that can’t be worked through once it’s written on a piece of paper.

Fight injustice wherever it rears its ugly head.


Laugh some more.

Apologize sooner rather than later. Less time wasted.

Eat really good food and work those muscles.

Grow old gracefully.

19 comments on “Manifesto

  1. deborahatherton on

    Terrific manifesto, Margaret. I especially like: Believe people when they tell you who they are. But then look beyond their faulty self-vision. It is my strong belief that people always tell you who they are, it’s just that we mostly really don’t want to listen. Of course, nature and I don’t get along so well, so that part wouldn’t work for me. I am more likely to sit in the middle of Times Square. But that is why it is a personal manifesto, and it’s a whole lot better than just Eat, Love, Pray!

  2. Richard on

    Go tell it on the mountain, Maggie! This is inspiring stuff.

    However, I tried unsticking those tight muscles, working that jaw, and smiling, but it gave me a headache. I blame you for this. 😛

  3. Roberto on

    Here’s mine:

    Don’t eat too many refried beans and/or black bean soup at a Mexican restaurant.

    Never say that you have enough toys, especially those of an electronic nature.

    Don’t often try to use this term in a sentence. “QWERTY” It can cause consternation and distress.

    De vez en cuando, habla en español, especialmente cuando el perro esta en casa.

    Use gel pens instead of ball point pens.

    Keep pants with varying waste sizes readily available.

    Offer gum to people, but only carry one piece, so that they will feel bad taking your last piece from you.

    Write, write, and write some more – but only in increments of 140 characters, so that whatever you write can be used on Twitter.

    Create Haiku without counting syllables. This way, it’s not Haiku, but you can call it Haiku anyway. Wallow in knowing that people will be confused.

    Pick a career that is meaningless. This way, you can always have aspirations to something better.

    Have gratitude for everything you have, except for snow over 3 inches.

    Make sure you always have a refrigerator in your house or apartment, just in case you need something chilled or cold.

    Never count calories, because, a calorie in science and a calorie in food are two different things, and you don’t want to be confused.

    Park in someone else’s garage from time to time, just to make that person think they bought a new used car.

    Laugh, laugh, and laugh some more – especially if you smoke one of those funny cigarettes.

    Pretend to be a doctor, just so you can diagnose your self and others with more precision.

    That’s it – all things to live by.


  4. Val Erde on

    These two really resonate most with me:

    “Never mistake a thin, sheetrock wall for an impenetrable fortress. If there’s a moat and the drawbridge isn’t lowered, swim across. Most people want to be found.”

    “Listen like you don’t have another thing to do.”


    • Margaret Reyes Dempsey on

      That first one I’ve experienced several times. So many people afraid of being hurt or disappointed act like they don’t need anyone. I think I’m a bit like that. Maybe that’s why I always carry my handy-dandy pop-up sledge hammer with me and my water wings. 😉

  5. Jessica Sieghart on

    Having worked in law enforcement, I admit, when I hear the word manifesto, I get a little nervous. Yours, though, was magnificent. I agree with all of those things, especially the carrying people if they can’t stand on their own. I like the “no matter what” friendship mentality.


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