Having dispensed with our need for familial self-memorialization (say that ten times fast!) we were free to consider witty or inspirational inscriptions. I liked Andrea’s first suggestion: “SMILE,” which had the virtues of extreme simplicity and near-infallibility (i.e., it would make people smile). She liked my suggestion that we use our family motto, “Always do everything” (Latin: Semper fac omnia — thanks, Vicky). We also considered the phrase, “Know the what / Understand the why,” which popped into my head the other day as a kind of update of Benjamin Franklin’s saying, “What signifies knowing the names if you know not the nature of things?”
In the end we chose “Make someone smile” as a more broadly prescriptive variant of Andrea’s original idea — it should make the reader smile and make the reader make someone else smile too.