In the children's book, Dinotopia, there are eleven laws which the newcomers must learn to join society. Aside from being an amusing trope, they are also life lessons that most children in Western society could benefit from.
Although I was introduced to Dinotopia much later in life, I still find the laws to be solid guidelines to live by. Here's what the Dinotopian laws mean to me.
- One raindrop raises the sea. Every decision leads to different outcomes, and even a little effort builds up over time.
- Survival of all or none. We rely on those around us for resources and support. When you become a lone wolf, you only harm yourself.
- Weapons are enemies, even to their owners. As Vito Cornelius said, “Violence begets violence.” The peaceful resolution is always the most desirable.
- Give more, take less. Giving to others is more fulfilling than receiving.
- Others first, self last. Patience may be a virtue, but it is also a type of generosity.
- Observe, listen and learn. Good listeners learn more and faster than good speakers.
- Do one thing at a time. When you divide your focus, you diminish your results.
- Sing every day. Recognizing and expressing joy is a freedom to be taken advantage of. Even if you are not a “good” singer.
- Exercise imagination. Like the heart, the imagination must be built up to function well, and those with imagination find a wealth of resources.
- Eat to live, don’t live to eat. Adopted from the Weight Watchers motto, this stands true regardless of your weight.
- Find the light. Regardless of who or where you are, finding purpose in your life will bring you joy and greater peace. We may not all be searching for a sun stone, but we all search for meaning.