Mantras and Mentors
The Boy Scout mantra codifies a somewhat peculiar set of oughts, some of which I still include, and a few (the latter 6) I question or would leave out entirely. And I wonder about the order, about the covert meaning of several, and about how the 12 came to be cast into the 4 triplets in which one learns them:
Beyond the Scouting bromides, there are some supposed virtues that I have abjured. For example, competitiveness is for some a desirable character trait—one that I've totally missed, but never missed.
I can identify some mentors whose influence was palpable, some authors who affected my view of the world and my place in it, and some people whose personal example was especially salient and worthy of emulation. It has turned out to be a useful and interesting exercise to corral them. Perhaps it's easiest to recognize the contribution once the person is gone.
I expect that more will occur to me, and I'll add them when they do.