Tuesday, August 27, 2013

He Who Would Have Friends...

It's interesting the kinds of things we pick up from our parents. My parents were both avid readers. We had an abundance of books in our home, for which I am forever grateful. From my mom's side of the family we had quite a few older books, too, that had been around for some time. One of these was Elbert Hubbard's Scrapbook.

Elbert Hubbard was writer, philosopher and something of a Renaissance man who lived at the turn of the last century. I knew little about him other than my mom would mention his name from time to time. She was fond of quoting aphorisms like, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," and "What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." The only connection between these quotes and Hubbard is that Hubbard's Scrapbook is a two volume collection of witticisms, aphorisms and anecdotal observations. Once you've internalized it, the pithiness of the pointed aphorism sticks with you much like a good advertising slogan.

One of these, which my mom frequently repeated, was "He who would have friends must show himself friendly." The saying came to mind this morning as I thought about this new world of social media. People are colliding with one another all over the place, from all corners of the globe. What are the rules for all this new interaction?

Well, it's my take that the cyberworld is not something altogether different from our time/space continuum. Like our geographically based reality it has communities, it has relationships, and there is more to see and do than there is time for. And as for the rules of engagement, it seems that the most important rules apply in both realms:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
He who would have friends must show himself friendly.

For what it's worth, Hubbard's Scrapbook was produced posthumously. He'd gained fame for his A Message to Garcia during his lifetime, but it was a life cut short as he was one of the many who died on the Lusitania.

If interested, here's a good selection of Elbert Hubbard quotes to whet your appetite.Check 'em out. There are some good ones.

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