This is my personal code for life. It’s a bunch of obvious things that most people already know. I am sure I’ve missed some significant things, but I still like it:
- Anything that leads to love is good. Anything that leads away from it is not.
- I claim the god-given right to be imperfect. I also claim the inherent right to have “issues.” I recognize that everyone else has the exact same rights.
- I cannot control other people and if I try to do so, I will make both them and me miserable. I do have the right to set boundaries for the treatment I will accept from them. It is my responsibility to communicate those boundaries to them. I have the inherent right to disassociate myself from them if they refuse to honor those boundaries. If someone still tries to hurt me, I can seek out appropriate protection.
- The universal golden rule still applies: treat others the way you want to be treated. It is wrong to harm others. Allowing someone else to come to harm through inaction is also wrong. And one way we cause harm through inaction is choosing to remain ignorant of the harm we cause to others.
- It is also wrong to cause harm to ourselves, through action or inaction.
- I am never responsible for another person’s behavior, but I am responsible for the temptations I create for them. I will inevitably tempt others to be angry, to lash out, to be jealous, to seek revenge, etc., but if I choose to ignore the temptations I create for others I am harming them through inaction.
- I have the right to decide to believe in God or not. If I believe in God, I have the right to decide what expectations that being has of me. I also have the right to follow those expectations. What I may not do is harm others through either action or inaction in order to satisfy God.
- It is more important to be wise than to be happy. Seeking happiness over wisdom is likely to lead to neither one, but seeking wisdom over happiness is likely to lead to both. Wisdom is the key to happiness. Understanding is the key to wisdom. Knowledge is the key to understanding.
- There may be nothing in life I can truly control. Life is a matter of probabilities and odds. I cannot change that. What I can do is change the odds.