Lessons Learned

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One Man's Testament

On the back of an envelope found among his affects after his death last summer in a plane crash, former Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Gordon Dean had scrawled:

1. Never lose your capacity for enthusiasm. 
2. Never lose your capacity for indignation. 
3. Never judge people, don't type them too quickly; 
but in a pinch always first assume that a man is good 
and that at worst he is in the gray area between good and bad. 
4. If you cant be generous when it's hard, you won't be when it's easy. 
5. The greatest builder of confidence is the ability to do something-- 
almost anything, well-- 
6. When that confidence comes, then strive for humility; 
you aren't as good as all that. 
7. And the way to become truly useful is to seek the best 
that other brains have to offer. Use them to supplement your own, 
and give credit to them when they have helped. 
8. The greatest tragedies in world and personal events 
stem from misunderstandings. Answer: Communicate

Gordon Dean lived by that splendid testament.