"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


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Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Of Listing…..

Lists. They can help us remember and can create calm and peace by bringing order to chaos. Interestingly, they can bring form and function to help avoid procrastination or give you the opportunity for you to waste even more time. There is one for everything – from the most mundane, to the most obscure – from the “List of Roads” to the “List of Azerbaijani Films.” Lists. We all make them, we all read them. Today’s M5T is a list of lists.

1. Of Pails

Jack and Morgan brought the phrase into everyday argot in this 2007 movie; “Bucket List”, which made the point that we shouldn’t wait to do the things that we want to experience in life. Bucket lists are about dreams, big and small… goals and milestones for our lives. Crafting our bucket lists and then actually working towards crossing items off can help us plan bigger, avoid complacency in life, and move us out of the rut of repetitive day-to-day grinds. Writing our bucket lists down can teach us more about ourselves, inspire inertia, give us hope, and enthuse a spirit of adventure to make the most of our lives.

2. Of Twelve Hundred

In an interview, his wife said that he “did nothing remarkable before the war and nothing after it.” Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi party who endangered his own life by protecting the Jewish employees in his enamel and munition’s factories. His list kept ‘Schindlerjuden’ – Schindler Jews – from the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. He spent all his money bribing Nazi’s to look the other way, ultimately saving over 1,200 lives, and yet he passed away still feeling like he had not done enough. Schindler died in 1974 and was buried in Jerusalem on Mount Zion. On a list of one, he is the only Nazi party member to be honored this way.

3. Of Being Wanted

Hopefully no M5T’ers are on the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted List”. The origin of this list started in 1919 when the FBI distributed wanted posters for military deserters and gangsters. In the 1930’s, the Chicago Crime Commission formed the list of public enemies, topped with Al Capone. In 1950, J. Edgar formalized the “10 Most Wanted List”, which continues to this day. The ‘10’ are not ranked, just wanted. Once one is recognized in such an infamous way, the only way to get off this list is to be caught, die, or be replaced by someone even more nefarious.

4. Of the Other Ten

His first list was in 1985. The list spanned over 30 years, and the more than three-plus decades was included in over six thousand episodes each night he was on the air. David Letterman’s “Top 10” lists were always irreverent and topical, often absurd, silly and comedic, and at times profound and deeper than appeared on the surface.

5. Of Cards and Virtue

He was an accomplished writer, scientist, politician, and diplomat who retired in his 40’s, and devoted the remainder of his life to public service. At the age of 20, he began to carry in his jacket pocket a card that had a list of seven columns and thirteen rows. The columns were for each day of the week and the rows contained his “13 Virtues” that he wanted to use to be a better man. Throughout each day he would review the virtues to keep them at the forefront of his mind. At the end of each day, he would review his card, making a check mark beside each virtue that he had used that day. If you haven’t read his list, it’s worth Googling “Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues.”

Here’s to a week of making lists, staying off of certain lists, reviewing your lists daily, and to accomplishing whatever is on your list.

© 2019 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com. Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com