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 A NewsJournal for 21st Century West Kentucky

Vol. 16  No. 7 July 2024 (c)



FrontPage News

Ivan Potter's Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century | Ivan Potter, 21st century, rules for living

Ivan C. Potter 1947-2024
Ivan Potter's Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

We found Ivan's Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century while going through the many pieces of paper left in his study. I was his editor, correcting his grammar, his creatively spelled words and his bureaucratic run on sentences. He didn't share the twelve rules with me so I am not sure when he wrote them.

The Rules were read at his Celebration of Life on April 6th. Since then, I've been sending copies to anyone who requested them

The rules have made me stop and think. They pushed me to write again and to share thoughts on each rule and what I think it meant to him. And what it now means to me. - Mary Potter

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Ivan Potter

Rule #12 - Don't be afraid to admit you could be wrong  Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century | Rule 12, admit you are wrong, Ivan Potter, rules for embracing life,

The futurist could be wrong. Sometimes he would admit it.
Rule #12 - Don't be afraid to admit you could be wrong Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

And so we come to the last Rule.

There are three little words that written, spoken, shared would change our world for the better.

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Ivan Potter commentary by Mary Potter

Rule #11 - Don't be sheep, speak out when you see wrong  Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century | rules for embracing life, Rule 11, Speak out, Atticus Finch

Writing was Ivan\'s way of speaking out
Rule #11 - Don't be sheep, speak out when you see wrong Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Speaking up. Leaving the herd. Saying what you know to be true even if the flock is content to wait for a better day. Leaving the safety of the group is hard and it can be dangerous.

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Ivan Potter commentary by Mary Potter

Rule #10 - You are the master of your own space and unique time  Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Studying space and time was a lifetime work.
Rule #10 - You are the master of your own space and unique time Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Space and time are fascinating to sci fi writers, physicists and to one Western Kentucky futurist/geographer.

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Ivan Potter commentary by Mary Potter

Rule #9 - Know your boundaries but also know when to expand them (Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century) | Ivan Potter, rules for embracing life, Rule 9, barriers, Kentucky history, Jackson Purchase, Louisiana Purchase,

Lowering personal barriers took trust. Photo taken on our 39th wedding anniversary
Rule #9 - Know your boundaries but also know when to expand them (Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century)

Barriers. We need them geographically and personally. Some protect us. Others limit us. A mental barrier can preclude from considering new ideas, new people, new experiences.

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Ivan Potter commentary by Mary Potter

Rule #8 Make no small dreams, always test the limits of who you are -  Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century | Rule 8, no small dreams, rules for embracing life, Ivan Potter, Columbus,

Columbus 1821 - a dream come true to reconstruct the map.
Rule #8 Make no small dreams, always test the limits of who you are - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Geography was Ivan's dream by day doorway. Everything was based on geography. The world and the people are shaped by the rivers and oceans and land around them. His first and enduring love was for geography.

T. E. Lawrence wrote "All men dream. But not equally..."

Dream big dreams. By day.

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Ivan Potter commentary by Mary Potter

Rule 7 - Look for and connect with the beauty in your life   Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century  | Ivan Potter, rules for embracing life, Rule 7, roses, inner sp

A rose was on our first calendar. The rose is still in the garden
Rule 7 - Look for and connect with the beauty in your life Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Connecting with beauty in the inner spirit of others begins with finding beauty in yourself. Not the look in the mirror stuff that cosmetics manufacturers sell. The kindness, heart, empathy, joy playfulness, silliness, imagination that you are blessed with. Because that is your beauty.

Ivan found beauty in the rose garden. He was nuts for roses.

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Iivan Potter, commentary by Mary Potter

Rule 6 - If in doubt, do it for the grand kids or your children    Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century | Ivan Potter, rules for embracing life, Rule 6, children,
Rule 6 - If in doubt, do it for the grand kids or your children Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Children are not just ours. They are the future.

As a self described futurist, Ivan fervently believed in making choices that benefit the next generations.

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Ivan Potter Commentary by Mary Potter

Rule #5 Don't hide your talents - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century | Ivan Potter, rules for embracing life, talents, Rule 5

Ivan enjoyed being interviewed. Public speaking is a talent he enjoyed.
Rule #5 Don't hide your talents - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Ivan Potter, the eternal optimist and self-described futurist, envisioned a world where everyone's talents were recognized and used to make the world a better place. That was his dream.

Before one can hide a talent, one has to recognize that the talent exists. Too many of us brush off a skill as if it's no big thing. Everyone can...fill in the blank, we tell ourselves. Talents for mentoring and encouraging are two skills that the world could use more of if Ivan's dream is to become reality.

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Ivan Potter commentary by Mary Potter

Rule #4 Talk to God every day - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century | Ivan Potter, rules for living, rules for embracing life, Rule 4, prayer, religion,

With the faith of a child, Ivan believed in talking to God.
Rule #4 Talk to God every day - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Ivan Potter was the best Pray-Er I ever met. He followed no formula. He knew his prayers would be answered. His Christianity was that of a small child. He believed.

Talking to God every day was not a standing up and making a big announcement. Most of the time, he would be in his favorite wing back with a cat on the footstool or on the porch loving the view. His prayer time was more a visit than intercession. His conversations with God were quiet and most of the time secret.

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Ivan Potter, commentary by Mary Potter

Rule #3 Build your own posse - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century | Ivan Potter, rules for living, posse, Rule 3

Building a posse is like laying old brick in a straight row.
Rule #3 Build your own posse - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Building is a very Ivan word choice. He loved building. He loved old brick. His contribution to the garden was borders of bricks, laid end to end. He would lie on the grass, propped up on an elbow carefully choosing which brick fit next. Old bricks are never uniform in size, shape or color. It was an exercise in patience to get it just right.

That's how Ivan saw building his own posse.

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Ivan Potter commentary by Mary Potter

Rule #2 Embrace change - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century | Ivan Potter, embrace change, rules for living, 21st century,

Futurist Ivan Potter and able assistant and paperweight, Purrsist
Rule #2 Embrace change - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century

Change is inevitable. Embracing change is not.

In thinking about Rule 2, I have come to the conclusion that Ivan saw embracing change like the Pirates' Code of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie: more of a guideline than a rule.

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Ivan Potter commentary by Mary Potter

Rule #1 Confront Your Fears - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century -  | confronting fears Ivan Potter essay, rules for embracing life, Rule 1
Rule #1 Confront Your Fears - Rules for Embracing Life in the 21st Century -

The rules have made me stop and think. They have pushed me to write again and to share thoughts on each rule and what I think it meant to him. And what it means to me.

Rule #1 Confront Your Fears

There are fears that can be recognized but there isn't much we can do about them. Confronting fears means not letting the dust bunny under the bed grow teeth, red eyes and growl us out of a sound sleep.

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Ivan Potter, commentary by Mary Potter

About Us

Our Sad News

39th wedding anniversary - Patti\'s in Grand Rivers
Our Sad News

My best friend, life partner, publisher, editor, husband Ivan Potter passed away March 3, 2024.

I will try to get back to writing but be patient with me. Sorting through 41 years of memories takes time.

His Celebration of Life will be Saturday, April 6th at 11:00 at Clinton First United Methodist Church. I welcome all those who knew him to attend.

The celebration will be live streamed on First Methodist's Facebook page. If you can't make the trip, please share it online with us.

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Mary Potter


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