Thursday, June 28, 2007

No Rain, No Rainbows(R)

This is the signature philosophy of a list called Kimo's Rules, which I became familiar with in Hawaii. I have a card with the Rules in a lucite frame on my desk. However, I was never sure who had copyrighted the rules; all I knew was they always had an "R" at the end, meaning the list is a registered trademark.

Tonight when I left work I discovered it was raining. I usually know these things before I leave, but because it's been so hot the last couple of days, our Facilities people closed everyone's blinds to try to keep the heat out.

I stopped at the grocery store, and when I came out the rain was nearly ended. As I was driving up the ramp to the highway I realized there was a full rainbow arching over the road and disappearing into the distance.

Now, if you live in Hawaii, rainbows are very common. But here in New Jersey they are relatively rare. I always enjoy seeing them and feel as if they are a good omen.

Seeing the rainbow made me think of Kimo's Rules. So when I got home I decided to look them up so that if I wrote about them I would be able to give credit where it was due.

First of all, you are probably wondering what these mysterious rules are. I am going to list the rules below and will then go into the story of who trademarked them.

Kimo's Hawaiian Rules

Never judge a day by the weather.
The best things in life aren't things.
Tell the truth - there's less to remember.
Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.
Goals are deceptive - the unaimed arrow never misses.
He who dies with the most toys - still dies.
Age is relative - when you're over the hill, you pick up speed.
There are 2 ways to be rich - make more or desire less.
Beauty is internal - looks mean nothing.
No Rain - No Rainbows.®

When I did my Google search, I discovered that apparently the originator of the Rules, one Kimo Krogfoss, gave the list to Rita Peeters, owner of Nite Owl T-Shirts on Kauai, back in 1991. Night-Owl then copyrighted the list.

According to this article, Kimo's Rules have been plagiarized many times in many ways. So, since I don't know whether my copy of Kimo's Rules was published by Night Owl or not, I will make it up to them by linking to their website so you can order your own T-shirt with Kimo's Hawaiian Rules on it:

Now, as to the rules themselves...

My two favorites are:

There are two ways to be rich: Make more or desire less.


Goals are deceptive; the unaimed arrow never misses.

I always say that the line about goals personifies my philosophy of life. I feel that I never really had goals, never really laid out a plan for my life. I took what came, I rolled with the punches, I drifted in the wind. And yet ended up in the right place; hence, the unaimed arrow never misses. I find it is better to fire the arrow into the air and see where it falls to earth, rather than picking a target and aiming at it. You can be totally successful at hitting that target and then find out it's not where you really wanted to be after all.

My friend Estelle disagreed with me when I was expounding on this idea one day. She said, "But you do have goals, you decide to accomplish specific things." And it's true, there are things I decide to accomplish as I go along. But my overall Life Plan never existed.

There are people who know from the time they are teenagers that they have a specific goal they want to reach in life: Become a millionaire (billionaire?), own their own company, be President...something they focus on all their lives, taking each step they need to achieve the goal.

This is not the way I operate. I pick small things to go after, and then as life changes around me, I follow the twists and turns. As Yogi Berra said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." That's what I did. So I didn't end up in a job that matched what I majored in in college. But it's a job that suits my talents anyway. This is just one example of the unaimed arrow. There are many others. And I think people who follow those unaimed arrows are probably happier in life than those with those far-flung, ambitious goals. It's part of the "desire less" part of the other Rule.

Maybe by following the "unaimed arrow" Rule I'll never be rich...but I'll be content.

Update: I checked my framed Rules - am happy to report they are copyright 1991 and 1997 by Nite-Owl T-Shirts - so I bought a "legitimate" version!


Liz Hinds said...

My life has been totaly aimless. I have gone along with whatever turns up, believing that God at least has plans for my life! So far, so good!

Nothing wrong with aimless.

Miranda said...

Loved reading this! I own one of these shorts I got it in maui when I went there 10 years ago . Thanks for the history lesson.

Anonymous said...

I love my No Rain No Rainbows t-shirt, but I've worn it out and am nearly desparate to replace it. I'm not able to find it online. If anybodt knows where I can get another, please email me at with subject KIMO'S RULES. I will beforever grateful! ♡

Melody said...

Same here! Looking everywhere for this shirt- can't find it but lost mine!

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