// you’re reading...

filed in Daily Life

Principles of Adult Behavior

Check out this list of 25 principles by John Perry Barlow, an internet visionary, political activist and lyricist for the Grateful Dead, who died this week at the age of 70. Barlow compiled this list on his 30th birthday.

Poster by David Shrigley


4 comments for “Principles of Adult Behavior”

  1. Lisa Miller says:

    What a grand list to live by. If he was able to live by it, I salute him with everything I have. I do question the one saying to avoid pursuing happiness. Is it because that is selfish? Not sure I understand. This little st humbles me.

    • wendy says:

      Here’s what Barlow said about his list: “I don’t expect the perfect attainment of these principles. However, I post them as a standard for my conduct as an adult. Should any of my friends or colleagues catch me violating one of them, bust me.”

      My understanding of not pursuing happiness is because it’s so fleeting and not sustainable. Other readers, please weigh in!

      • Petra says:

        I’m wondering if he means “pleasure” as opposed to “happiness”. Happiness is, frankly, difficult to define objectively. My concept of happiness may differ from yours. To me, joy is happiness, having meaning or purpose brings happiness, and helping others is happiness

        I agree that happiness IS fleeting, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy it and experience it fully when it happens. And its very ephemerality makes it so valuable.

        I do get that he mentions PURSUING happiness, not happiness itself. Maybe it’s the act of chasing it (which may or may not be futile) is what he meant. Good question to think about, Lisa and Wendy!

        • wendy says:

          I’m all for happiness and to appreciate its moments – but as a life’s pursuit, it seems one would end up being disappointed much of the time.

Leave a Reply to Lisa Miller