posts tagged with the keyword ‘better’



Yesterday I was talking to Caitlin (a fellow Grad Student at UWM) when two Undergrads approached us, and asked if they could ask us a question, and that question was “What gift would you give to the next generation?” I tried to answer something along the lines of “A better world” but I wasn’t very articulate. I thought about it a bit more, and here’s my answer.

I want to give the next generation a better world. A world with more understanding, and more knowledge. Not just information, but real knowledge. Useful data that can be used to make informed decisions. A world with less problems. Solutions to existing problems so that the future generation doesn’t have to worry about them.

I was thinking about the idea that you should leave your campground better than you found it, and stumbled upon The Boy Scout Rule (applied to software in this case, but it doesn’t matter.)

The Boy Scouts have a rule: “Always leave the campground cleaner than you found it.” If you find a mess on the ground, you clean it up regardless of who might have made the mess. You intentionally improve the environment for the next group of campers. Actually the original form of that rule, written by Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, the father of scouting, was “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it.”

I’d highlight “leave this world a little better than you found it.” (And yes, I marked the “try and” in the above quote as deleted because I’m trying to leave this bit of wisdom better than I found it. :)

That’s it. It should be that simple: Leave this world a little better than you found it.


Delafield, WI

I had 3 goals for 2011, which I stated a year ago in this post. I figured it was worth a look back at how I did.

  1. Try Harder

    I always try, and the effort varies, but how did I do in 2011? I don’t know if there’s a way to gauge such things, but I felt like in some of the things I do, I definitely tried harder. This one was probably a bit nebulous, but if pressed then I’ll definitely say yes, I did try harder, and in some ways, I definitely did better. Which brings us to…

  2. Do Better

    There are specific things I can think of that I did better in 2011. From personal to work related things, even if some of them were small victories, I felt like I did better. I made some mistakes in 2010 that I didn’t repeat in 2011. That’s good! Making mistakes once is fine, in fact, it’s how you learn, but to keep making the same mistakes over and over, well… that’s not a good thing.

  3. Make Money

    I made (some) more money! Again, this was not a greed motivated goal, but more of a comfort/cushion goal. I managed to pay off 3 of my debts in 2011, which is great. I’ve spent the last lustrum trying to pay off some of the debt I’ve fallen into, and while there’s still much to deal with, I’ve got some of it taken care of. Oh, and when you see me eating peanut butter sandwhiches at my desk, and driving a car that is (literally) falling to pieces, just know that it’s because instead of going deeper into debt, I’m working hard to get out of it.

Overall I think stating these goals was a good thing, and probably should have checked in on them part way through the year (but I didn’t because, um…) Anyway, I’m going to stick with these goals again for 2012, and probably every year. I have a few other goals, but I’ll save those for another post. Happy New Year, folks!


Goals for 2011

I don’t have any resolutions for the new year, but I do have a few goals, and writing them here will mean that I see them again in the future.

  1. Try Harder

    There have been times in the past year when I’ve said “good enough” even though I felt like it wasn’t “good enough” and I was just admitting defeat for one reason or another… I’d run out of time, or get frustrated, and then move on. I think I can try harder, and I plan to.

  2. Do Better

    This sort of goes along with “Try Harder” above. I feel like if I try harder but don’t “Do Better” then I’m not really making any progress. Doing better can be a result of trying harder. It’s safe to say they are linked. Again, there were things I did in 2010 that I know I could have done better… in 2011 I will.

  3. Make Money

    I’m hoping “Make Money” doesn’t sound materialistic or greedy. Maybe I should say “Make More Money” instead. I’ve got a number of debts (medical bills mostly) to pay off, and I’d like to make some progress in doing so this year. Making (more) money will make that possible. I’d also like to see some financial stability in my life, which I haven’t had for about 5 years. I also tend to contribute to charities and projects that I like (many of which are open source software projects) so making more money would help me do those things.

As 2011 progresses, I’ll try to look back on this, my first post of the year, and think about how I’m doing in regards to these goals. If you want to help me with any of these goals (especially number 3) let me know!


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