In this blog, I continue with three more pledges in my Code of Whole-Person Professionalism and the associated “annotations,” i.e., supporting or illustrative quotes.

  • To consider “the big picture” in my advices to clients, taking into account common sense, psychological implications, holistic concerns, the law of diminishing returns and a cost-benefit analysis, all on both a long and short term basis.

We [engineers] also do not readily focus on the big picture. This is perhaps why we haven’t always seen ourselves as agents of change…We need to help them contemplate their work in the larger context because what they do often changes the “big picture” dramatically over time. That “big picture” encompasses economic, political, social, and ethical components. Joseph Bordogna

Don’t equate activity with efficiency. You are paying your key people to see the big picture. Don’t let them get bogged down in a lot of meaningless meetings and paper shuffling. Announce a Friday afternoon off once in a while. Cancel a Monday morning meeting or two. Tell the cast of characters you’d like them to spend the amount of time normally spent preparing for attending the meeting at their desks, simply thinking about an original idea. Harvey Mackay

Man’s task in life is a paradoxical one of realizing his individuality and at the same time transcending it to arrive at the experience of universality. Only the fully developed self can drop the ego (and see the big picture). Erich Fromm

Common sense is not so common. Voltaire

Human knowledge had become too great for the human mind. All that remained was the scientific specialist, who know “more and more about less and less,” and the philosophical speculator, who knew less and less about more and more. The specialist put on blinders in order to shut out from his vision all the world but one little spot, to which he glued his nose. Perspective was lost. “Facts” replaced understanding; and knowledge, split into a thousand isolated fragments, no longer generated wisdom. Every science, and every branch of philosophy, developed a technical terminology intelligible only to its exclusive devotees; as man learned more about the world, they found themselves ever less capable of expressing to their educated fellow-men what it was that they had learned. The gap between life and knowledge grew wider and wider; those who governed could not understand those who thought, and those who wanted to know could not understand those who knew. In the midst of unprecedented learning popular ignorance flourished, and chose its exemplars to rule the great cities of the world; in the midst of sciences endowed and enthroned as never before, new religions were born every day, and old superstitions recaptured the ground they had lost. The common man found himself forced to choose between a scientific priesthood mumbling unintelligible pessimism, and a theological priesthood mumbling incredible hopes.  In this situation the function of the professional teacher was clear. It should have been to mediate between the specialist and the nation; to learn the specialist’s language, as the specialist had learned nature’s, in order to break down the barriers between knowledge and need. And find for new truths old terms that all literate people might understand. For if knowledge became too great for communication, it would degenerate into scholasticism, and the weak acceptance of authority; mankind would slip into a new age of faith, worshiping at a respectful distance its new priests; and civilization, which had hoped to raise itself upon education disseminated far and wide, would be left precariously based upon a technical erudition that had become the monopoly of an esoteric class monastically isolated from the world by the high birth of terminology. Will Durant

Don’t spend ten dollars’ worth of energy on a ten-cent problem… Donald A. Tubesing, M.D.

The law of diminishing returns holds good in almost every part of our human universe. Aldous Huxley 

  • To acknowledge and repay my debt to my resources and mentors by “passing it on” to others as a cheerful resource and mentor to other lawyers and staff both inside and outside of my firm.

Have you ever really had a teacher? One who saw you as a rare but precious thing, a jewel that, with wisdom, could be polished to a proud shine? If you are lucky enough to find your way to such teachers, you will always find your way back. Mitch Albom

Earnestly I must exert myself in order to return as much as I have received. Albert Einstein

The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate “apparently ordinary” people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: It is in making winners out of ordinary people. W.S. Gilbert

  • To keep myself in good physical, mental and spiritual health.

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. The relationship between the soundness of the body and the activities of the mind is subtle and complex. Much is not yet understood. But we do know what the Greeks knew: that intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong; that hardy spirits and tough minds usually inhabit sound gods. John F. Kennedy

Do not worry, eat three square meals a day, say your prayers, be courteous to your creditors, keep your digestion good, exercise, go slow and easy. Abraham Lincoln

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body. Oliver Wendell Holmes

The reason worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work. Robert Frost

Every day give yourself a good mental shampoo. Sara Jordan, M.D.

A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools. Spanish Proverb