Anderson Cooper holds close to his heart a maxim that I do. It's by Emerson, one of my own local heroes. He wrote "Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset."
When I was about 17, I stitched those words into some invisible
vest pocket of my psychic armor and said to myself: "You don't have
to tell all the truth. You just have to be sure not to lie. Do not do anything
that will cause you to be displaced or overset. Be central upon the limited,
unorthodox, marginalized square upon which, through no doing of your own,
you find that you stand."