Sunday, December 17, 2017

Well behaved people rarely...

There is a bumper sticker that reads something like "Well behaved people rarely make history."

That statement is balderdash.

Nearly all history is made by people who "behave":  People who go to work and give their employers a full day's work.  People who invest themselves in raising good children.  People who take care of aging parents.  Folks who obey traffic laws (mostly), pay the taxes they are legally obliged to pay, maintain their dwellings.

A more accurate bumper sticker is "Poorly behaved people are often recorded by history."

If notoriety is your goal, then by all means be ill-behaved.


  1. Yep, those 'ill behaved' usually end up paying the piper...

  2. While I agree that ill behaved people are a drain on good society. I think you're missing the point. We actually have a version of this framed in our home. It states that well behaved women rarely make history. The point being, as a father of three daughters, I don't want them to feel hemmed in by convention and shortchange the world of all of the potential they bring because they were trying to be compliant with the unreasonable constraints of society of what a woman should be. I think that there is a lot of gray area between being well behaved and being ill behaved. It is not a binary thing. Marie Curie is a good example. If she had been "well behaved" by the standards of her day, she would never have been the first person to win two Nobel prizes. Just my two cents…

    1. I have two daughters and I understand a bit about the pressure to conform.

      I get the point. I am playing devil's advocate.

      I suspect that most feminist who buy that bumper sticker do not approve, nor do they wish others would emulate the poorly behaved Weinstein, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

      They think they are communicating one thing but a literal reading of the bumper sticker can lead to a very different place.


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