East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

A mission statement of sorts


OK, let’s do it.
You see, yesterday I commented on my friend Victoria’s blog, on a post she wrote about our personal mission statement – that is, what our life is about, what we are trying to accomplish, what we are trying to be.

Victoria’s guidelines for writing a personal mission statement are straightforward and just a little macabre – imagine people talking about you at your funeral. What would you like them to say?
That’s your mission statement.


Now, I’ve been thinking about mortality a lot these last few months.
It comes in part from losing my father and being there to witness it, in part from the approaching 50th birthday, in part because I feel my old carcass is no longer working properly, and I sometimes worry.
But anyway, why not try and write a mission statement?
After all, I love talking about myself.

I’ll take a circuitous way.
When my grandfather died, people remembered him like a good man, and a just man.
That would be enough, for me.

But let’s get closer.
I’d like to be remembered for my curiosity, my too many interests and my passion for knowledge – any kind of knowledge, really.
For my willingness to share my knowledge and to teach others – telling stories, making them laugh, but trying to push on, to broaden the horizon. With everything I did: my research, my teaching, my stories, my games, my lectures and my eìrambling blog posts. Trying to do it right, sometimes doing it right.
Taking the risk of telling out the truth even when it was unpleasant – because an unpleasant truth is always better than a pleasant lie.
And if this caused some people to resent me, well, hopefully a lot of other people appreciated.
I’d like to be remembered as patient – moderately so.
And reasonably kind. And as someone that knew when to give up.

pe501118-300x240And then of course, it would be great to be an inspiration to others, but I’ll be happy just not being a warning for them.

And this, as they say, is it.
Is this my mission statement?
I don’t know – but I think it is a set of expectations I can try and measure up against.
All the rest will be improvisation from here on.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

15 thoughts on “A mission statement of sorts

  1. This was so beautifully written and in my honest opinion you can never have “too many” interests


    • And I agree, but there’s always been someone dissing me for my interests. People with one-track minds are evidently more appreciated … by people with one-track minds 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was always been accused of having too many interests. In my case, it was a nice way of telling me: you should become really good at something, before becoming half-good at so many things. And looking back, I think they might have been right. But I’m pretty sure one can have many interests and also be very good at something. In this case, there’s never too many. And I think you are an example of this latter category.


        • I discovered these days that being reasonably good at more than three things can cause people to believe you are a liar.
          “Can you really do what you propose?”, I was asked.
          Silly, if I wasn’t able to do it, why risk and propose it?
          Weird world, this one.


  2. Good for perspective!


  3. Very difficult to get a mission statement and it is continuously revisited… one statement may not be enough at times… but lets keep writing and exploring our missions


  4. Thanks for sharing this post..i could relate it to what i’ve been up to lately..Past few months my mission has been to simplify the user’s labyrinth of choices in the electronic market place..And now it’s easy to understand, your mission defines your ideas & action..


  5. Inspired post!
    Mission, I never thought so much for what I want to be memorise when I dead. Maybe I should…


  6. Nicely written Davide… you can’t please everyone so a little controversy is fine….As per mission statement, it’s ok to have several… i just try to break my goals/expectations as it relates to my career, friends, family etc…..work towards achieving them and take responsibility for my decisions.


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