Prescription from the happy hippie family

As a fundraising gimmick, Jonah’s preschool sells bricks that you can have inscribed with a brief sentiment, your family’s name, etc., and that are then set into the pavement in front of the school. Like good soldiers we bought a brick a couple of weeks ago with the names of both kids (Archer will be attending this preschool in the fall), but as the deadline for buying bricks drew near, we realized, why not be great soldiers and buy an additional brick?

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.

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