Rule #15: If You Stand for Nothing You’ll Fall for Anything

I live in Bath, Maine – The Cradle of Ships.  For centuries, Bath-built ships have symbolized a gold standard in navigation.  A big reason for this is the work ethic that pervades both the Bath Iron Works and the community.  When people come to visit, I always show off my favorite local landmark: the above sign which stands guard at the entrance to the shipyard’s north gate.

Those of us who live in Bath take great pride in the belief that the thing that we make in our town, we make better than anyone else in the world.  One can see signs of this belief everywhere.  T-shirts boasting “Bath Built is Best Built” are common.  The local high school teams call themselves The Shipbuilders.  Bath kids grow up knowing what “under time & under budget” means because ships have been delivered that way in Bath for over three centuries.  Anyone who knows ships, knows that Bath is synonymous with quality.

If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. So, what do you stand for?

My time as a Hyde student infused within me a respect for the Five Words that have adorned the school shield since its founding in 1966: Courage, Integrity, Leadership, Curiosity, and Concern.

On some days I live up to these words better than I do on others, but they’re what I’m shooting for. Over the years, I’ve found that my earnest efforts to embody these words render me less susceptible to falling for sketchy schemes and “Fool’s Gold.” I’m not saying I never fall, only that it’s far less likely to happen when I’m striving to stand for principle.

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld