Monday, February 24, 2014

Simple Rules

It somehow always comes as something of a surprise every time I'm faced with the fact that life ain't easy, and that the passage through it is frequently chaotic. To bring some semblance of order, rules were invented. Since life is a cumulative learning experience, the rules each person sets up for himself/herself tend to be far more varied and flexible than societal rules. I have come up with a few simple rules to help my passage as smooth as possible.

Many of my own rules are in response to the fact that I've always been excruciatingly aware that life is far too short under the best of circumstances to meekly accept those wrongs and unnecessary injustices over which I have any small degree of control. 

In no particular order of importance, here are a few of them:

1) I will never vote for any politician who will not say what he is for, only what he is against. If he hasn't any positive, constructive things to say about what he plans to do to while in office, he doesn't deserve to hold it.

2) I refuse to buy any product whose ads include the words "for well-qualified buyers" (which is a subtle way of saying "not you") or "emerging science suggests" (I don't want "maybe in the future," I want "now").

3) I never tolerate rudeness or neglect from anyone I am paying to perform a service for me. I do not hesitate one second in asking to speak to the person's supervisor and relating my unhappiness directly to him or her. (Often, in restaurants and retail establishments, the manager is not aware of the employees' actions unless told.)

4) I will not subject myself to any situation/play/movie/book in which I know I will find myself uncomfortable or upset simply because someone says I should. I witness and experience enough sorrow, trauma, and injustice in the day-to-day world without willingly exposing myself to more—and I certainly should not have to pay for the privilege. 

5) In any disagreement, I will decide if winning is worth the effort put into it, and at the point where it is  not, I will simply walk away.

6) I do not hesitate in defending those who cannot defend themselves.

7) I refuse to spend time in the presence of bigots and proselytizers.  

8) I know the difference between ignorance and stupidity, and act accordingly.

9) Though it is often not easy, I do try to see both sides of every issue.

10) I never, ever, under any circumstances, allow myself to be suckered into opening any message in my spam folder unless I recognize the sender's name and can tell from the few opening words that it got into the spam folder by mistake.

11) While I often fail, I do my best to live by the golden rule. 

12) I avoid like the plague anything I am assured that "everyone is talking about". If I'm not talking about it, it doesn't matter.

13)  Even in those times when I am depressed or enraged by my own stupidity, I never, ever take myself too seriously.

14) I listen to what others say, respect their right to say it, but only do what my mind and heart tell me to do. 

As indicated in some of the rules above, I don't always succeed, but that doesn't mean I don't try.

Now, sit down and make a list of your own rules. You may find it very interesting.

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday and Thursday. Please take a moment to visit his website ( and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (, which is also available as an audiobook (

1 comment:

Kage Alan said...

A wise, well-thought-out set of rules, D. And they're very common sense, something younger generations seriously lack. Then, too, my generation and older generations tend to lack that as well. Kinda wonder how it started.