I thought I would offer to simplify everyone’s life with a few basic rules. You need them. Who can ever have too many rules? Well, in truth nowadays, good ones are hard to find.
1. Don’t be stupid. Maybe all we really need is this one rule. You know what stupid is…don’t pretend you don’t. Just don’t do those things that you feel compelled to do but know you shouldn’t.
2. Don’t disparage stupid TV or fringe political candidates. You never know what your friend/relative/co-worker has embraced.
3. Offer to help. Sure, sometimes people take advantage. Weigh that potential against the positive value of giving someone a hand. There’s really no contest. Your soul (or psyche or some other deep aspect of your true self) will be burnished by this.
4. Listen. Increasingly, we all are enamored with the sound of our own voices. Resist the urge to dominate the landscape. Other people have something worthwhile to say. You will never know what it is if you don’t listen.
5. Take vacations. No matter how important you are or think you are, they can do without you for a while. Without time off, you will get stale. Surly and stale and many other unpleasant “s” words. Think about what they might be. Go to the beach or the mountains or travel or visit grandma or go on a guided tour. Just change the scenery – inner and outer.
6. Use your words. Holding everything inside or flinging it around is not recommended. It’s harder to say what’s on your mind and in your heart – but ‘tis a far better thing. It’s your best shot at being understood; and you will actually process your experience by verbalizing it.
7. Spend time around children. If you have your own, you have this rule built-in. If not, make an effort to be in an environment where you will encounter the little folks. The ones who haven’t made bullshit into a religion yet. We need to have the counterforce of the unvarnished truth that children see and say.
8. Touch someone. I mean that literally. Physical touch is as necessary as breathing. If you don’t have a live-in, reach out to friends or relatives that are touchable. If not, get a massage. Technically you are being touched. But it’s all the same.
9. Try not to put off the things that matter. Sometimes it can’t be helped. But much of the time delay is caused by resistance. Make the call, take the trip, sign up for the course, start your diet, tell that person you love them.
Don’t you think nine rules are enough? I do. At least for now.