My Three Favorite Things to Do with a 3×5 Index Card

“I was having coffee with my mom one morning,” Pipher recounted when I met her. “After a soothing silence, I remembered that the following week was my parents’ 50th anniversary. ‘Mom,’ I asked, ‘how have you and dad stayed married for so long?’” As Pipher tells the story, her mother didn’t hesitate before replying. “Easy,” her mother replied. “You need humility. As soon as you think you’re better than your spouse, the marriage is doomed.”

Pipher’s mother continued. “And so, when I get up in the morning, I go into the bathroom, look in the mirror, and read the 3×5 index card that I have tucked in the corner of the frame. It says, ‘You’re no prize either.’”

Pipher’s mother’s observation is brilliant because it reconnected her to her humanity, including her flaws. Wise readers might consider following her lead or writing something else on a 3×5 card that keeps goals in focus and arrogance in check.

Your thoughts?

Please post your own favorite uses for a 3×5 index card by replying to this post. Check back in a few days to see what others have written as well.

Dr. Christopher Thurber is the school psychologist at Phillips Exeter Academy, the waterfront director at Camp Belknap, and the co-founder of the leading web-based educational resource for youth leaders,

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