WW II US Marine standing guard.
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Introduction Rules of Engagement
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STUDENTS
SPY ARTIST
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
10 NOVEMBER 1775
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Every member of the US military is obligated to follow the Rules of Engagement during wartime; dictating what you can and cannot do with and to the enemy. My parents gave me a set of rules to follow whenever I met my own “enemies”: pride, doubt, laziness, and fear. I pass these on to you: 1. Be an achiever. Never believe there is something you cannot do. If given the chance to study and practice an art or craft, believe you can get to be at least as good as the people doing the same work. 2. Be adventurous. Try not to refuse a job just because you have never done that kind of work before. You just might like it and excel in the doing. It is like the deal parents make with their children about trying new foods. Taste it once. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat it. I always liked “tasting” new jobs and learning new subjects. I enjoyed learning whenever and whatever I could. Of course, I am not suggesting you try anything recklessly dangerous or illegal. 3. Be the best. Give your full effort and attention to whatever you decide to do. Constantly strive to improve your talents and work. Never be satisfied with what you have done. Expect to do it better the next time. The adage, “Good enough for government work,” should never become part of your vocabulary. 4. Be generous. Share your experiences and opportunities with others, without expecting anything in return. If you strive to do your best, other people will notice and doors of opportunity will open. As you move up in your career, you will see other people striving to reach the same levels of success as you. Help them by opening whatever doors you can. It is the right thing to do. 5. Be a leader. If you see something that needs to be done, do it! Don’t wait for someone to ask. Initiative is noticed and rewarded. If you don’t know how to do something - ask. Like the old Eskimo said of his dog team. “If you aren’t the lead dog, the view never changes.” 6. Be accepting and caring. Never judge someone without getting to know them. Even then, critical judgment of others often causes hurt and misunderstanding. Accept the fact that other people will know more than you on a variety of subjects. Care about the people around you and try to think of their needs before your own. 7. Be humble. Your mirror is not your friend. Self-praise is worthless. It does you no good, and often can do you great harm. Asking if you are the best looking, the smartest, or the most popular can only lead to hate and bitterness when you eventually meet someone who is better looking, smarter, or more popular. I offer two quotations on the subject; one ancient, the other contemporary; “A man’s praises have very musical and charming accents in another’s mouth, but very flat and untunable in his own.”  Xenophon, Greek historian and soldier of fortune “Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.” John Madden, Sports announcer, former professional football player and coach         8. Be honest with yourself and others. Take the time for inward reflection. Choose those paths in life that truly represent who you are and what you wish to achieve. Following the crowd is no substitute for following your heart. Recognize the boastful “story tellers” you so often will meet in this world of ubiquitous social media and try not to become one yourself. These “rules” are not mine. My parents gave them to me. I have tried to follow these guidelines throughout my life. Sometimes I have been successful. Other times I have needed more focus and less self-pride. I wish you great luck and success in following your dreams. Sincerely, SA:AWG
10 NOVEMBER 1775
STUDENTS
SPY ARTIST
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT