“be honest, be kind, be honorable, work hard, and always be awesome”

The volume of mentions I get on Twitter makes it impossible for me to read them all, and I miss most of them*. I do my best to read them, because more often than not the people who @ me are funny and interesting, but … math.

Last night, I happened to see a mention from a fifth grade teacher, who told me that one of her students said he was related to me. I don’t have a lot of school-aged relatives, and thought it was probably a kid making up stories, so I asked her what his name was. Well, it turns out that he is, indeed, related to me! He’s my brother’s nephew, and I just love him and his sister (and his mom, who is my brother’s wife’s sister. Go ahead and draw the family map, I’ll wait.)

After I confirmed that we are, indeed, family, she sent me this, which she said inspired the conversation:

Be honest, be kind, be honorable, work hard, and always be awesome.
Click to embiggen.

She designed this, and it hangs in her classroom. It forms the foundation of her class rules.

I showed it to Anne, blinking hard to get all the dust out of my eyes that had suddenly arrived in our living room.

All I want to do with my life is inspire people to be kind and awesome, and I love it so much that this teacher thought my words were worthy of sharing with her students.

*#humblebrag, I guess.

31 thoughts on ““be honest, be kind, be honorable, work hard, and always be awesome””

  1. Using this as an indication, your brother’s nephew has a fantastic teacher.

    This is one of my favorite quotes, and she designed it well. I think it will get a place in my office.

  2. Love it! I hope it’s okay that I remix/modify that, because if I tried to print that out at my school, I’d get the look of death from the office manager for using so much black toner.

    It will be a perfect addition to our collection of hallway motivational posters!

  3. Awwww. That’s awesome on many levels.

    And what do you mean you don’t see every Twitter mention? You’re a traveler, man! You have the power! 😉

  4. Just love that! The teacher is in the school district I work for….. Even got to see that nephew of yours (by marriage) on the opening day of school! Very proud that what you do touches so many – even in the small circle of my life! :)

  5. And inspire you do! Not sure if you ever read these comments, but on the off chance you do I want to share my story.

    About 8 years ago I started suffering from depression, of course the nature of the disease meant I didn’t realise that there even was a problem at the start, it took ruining pretty much every relationship I had and ending up sitting alone every night before that happened. Even then it wasn’t until I hit the absolute lowest point (researching how to kill myself online, cutting myself etc.) before I decided to get help.

    One of the key things that has helped me conquer (fingers crossed) my depression is being open about it and talking about it. I told everyone I work with that I was getting treated for depression, I even reactivated my long dormant facebook account and told all my online friends why no one had heard from me for a while, and received nothing back but love and understanding from pretty much everyone. That one simple act (talking about my depression to people) has done so much to help me through it, easily s much as the medication has. And that one simple act was inspired so very much by your own example. Your willingness to be open about your own issues and problems, your willingness to share your life with us complete strangers, your willingness to show that even with problems it is still possible to live an awesome life is what made it so much easier for me to open up to people about my own problems.

    Even now when I am firmly on the road to recovery and living my own awesome life you still inspire me every day. You and a number of other people I follow on twitter remind me every single day that life is awesome and worth living, we as people of this planet have a choice, we can embrace negativity and hate or we can embrace happiness and the things we love. How much better when we make the choice to embrace the happiness and leave the negative behind.

    Thanks Will, even if most of the above makes no sense I want you to know that I thank you, you have helped inspire me.

    Play more games!!!

    1. Bravo Mr. Davison. Well done. May I please add from my own struggles, that sometimes awesome isn’t a street parade with marching band and streamers, but a small quiet whisper of the heart/spirit/soul. Awesome, for me, is flexible with many shades of many colors.

  6. Let me give you money!!! Seriously, I would LOVE to hang that in my daughter’s room. I would put it right next to the final comic from Calvin & Hobbes “It’s a magical world Hobbes ol’ buddy. Let’s go exploring!”

  7. I think this needs an official name. How about Wheaton’s Third Law?

    (after 1. Don’t Be A Dick and 2. Wil Wheaton Does Not Win Tabletop Games With Cameras Present)

    I hope Wil will have copies of this to sign the next time he does a signing at a Con.

    Seriously, Shut Up And Take My Money!

  8. He’s my brother’s nephew, and I just love him and his sister (and his mom, who is my brother’s wife’s sister. Go ahead and draw the family map, I’ll wait.)
    OK! I think I’ve worked it out. Your brother’s wife is your sister-in-law. And, this kid is your sister-in-law’s nephew. Employing the well-known Commutative Property of In-lawishness, the kid would be your nephew-in-law.

  9. To be fair, you have said some pretty awesome and quotable things that you have come straight from your heart.*

    *I’m not you, so I assume this fact as you appear very genuine and sincere when you say them

    I love how your words are becoming more and more wide spread every day and continue to be such an inspiration for the youngest of generations. Keep being awesome. Keep being accessible, and keep on being you.

  10. I also use this in my classroom as a basis for my classroom rules. It really struck a chord with me when I first came across it a handful of years ago. Not only am I trying to teach English to my students, but I want them to be productive members of society and generally all around good people. This year “It’s not what you love, but how you love it” joins the wall of inspiration.

  11. You and Felicia are two of my biggest inspirations. I have 3 little girls and I these words pretty much sum up what I strive to teach them. Being a mom and being a geek are two of the most important things to me and its so nice to know that there are some teachers out there who try to instill the same principles in the children they teach.

  12. I suppose “Don’t be a Dick” would’ve been inappropriate at that level. Maybe just wait until high school. :)

  13. Add me to the list of teachers who will be posting this in their classrooms this school year–my students read “The Fault in Our Stars” this summer, so I’m hoping to get a poster from DFTBA for my classroom too! If this image or something like it was offered as a poster, I would definitely purchase it, but for now, I’ll settle for printing it out at school.

  14. Yeah, that’s the Wil Wheaton credo we use for when the kids are younger.

    When they hit the teenage years, we break out “Wil says ‘Don’t Be A Dick.'” FSM knows they need to hear it that way in the teen years.

    Between the two, the kids are in good hands

    1. I agree! I did share on Pinterest, but then I took it down, because I thought I should give credit to the woman who designed it in the first place. Any ideas on if we’re allowed to share it, and how we can credit her?

  15. Now., ain’t this a small world? Not many have the chance to have a relative that is well known and respected. She will turn out just fine in her life.

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