John Perry Barlow’s “Principles of Adult Behaviour” Will Always Inspire Us to Be Better

Posted on Monday February 4th in

This Thursday, February 7, we honor the life and legacy of John Perry Barlow on the year mark of his passing. Barlow was more than just Grateful Dead lyricist, he was a poet, Freedom of the Press advocate, educator, and spiritual leader. His magical words helped generate the tone of the Grateful Dead community, not just through his lyrics, but through his outlook on life. One outlook in particular being, the 25 Principles of Adult Behaviour, which is a short list of life advice that truly resonates with all of us. Read his principles below and listen to some of the Grateful Dead songs that evoke a similar message to prepare for Relix Presents The Songs of Barlow featuring an all-star tribute band featuring Jason Crosby, Grahame Lesh, Elliott Peck, Josh Kaufman, Jerry Harrison and more on Thursday, February 7!

1. Be Patient No matter what

2. Don’t bad-mouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.

3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.

4. Expand your sense of the possible.

5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.

“You gave all you had, why you want to give more?
The more that you give, the more it will take
To the thin line beyond which you really can’t fake.” – Fire on the Mountain

6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.

“One watch by night, one watch by day
If you get confused just listen to the music play” – Franklin’s Tower

7. Tolerate ambiguity.

8. Laugh at yourself frequently.

I may be going to hell in a bucket, babe
But at least I’m enjoying the ride” – Hell in a Bucket

9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.

10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.

11. Give up blood sports.

12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.

“Like an angel, standing in a shaft of light
Rising up to paradise, I know I’m gonna shine.” – Estimated Prophet

13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)

14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.

15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.

“There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone.” – Ripple

16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.

17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.

18. Admit your errors freely and soon.

“Her secret incantations, a candle burning blue
We’ll consult the spirits maybe they’ll know what to do.” – I Need a Miracle

19. Become less suspicious of joy.

“Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” – Scarlet Begonias

20. Understand humility.

21. Remember that love forgives everything.

Without love in the dream, it will never come true.” – Slipknot!

22. Foster dignity.

23. Live memorably.

24. Love yourself.

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world. The heart has its beaches, it’s homeland and thoughts of its own.
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings, but the heart has its seasons, it’s evenings and songs of its own” – Eyes of the World

25. Endure.

Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by its own design.
Nothing to tell now, let the words be yours, I’m done with mine.” – Cassidy

Knockdown
Alley

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