I love rules. I love structure and strong foundations. They feel good to me, because I love a job or assignment and rules make me feel like I have a mission to follow them. With that being said, I don’t like to be bossed around. I know the rules, I follow them so no one needs to tell me what to do. I’m doing it. Right? Who likes to be bossed around anyway?
As I’m working around my feelings about where our country is headed I’ve been thinking about a few golden rules that I’ve held onto all my life. I tried to teach them to my daughters. They work across the board. They cross the boundaries of age, race, geography, and sex. I don’t always follow them because as simple as they sound, they are really hard sometimes. I do my best and each day is another chance to try again. So, here’s my list.
1. Treat people they way you want to be treated. This means if you’d like forgiveness, you need to forgive others. If you desire compassion, be compassionate. If you want to be heard, listen. If you don’t want to be told your wrong all the time, then stop doing it to others. Treat everyone the way you want them to treat you. This includes your enemies, strangers, and people who may not treat you well in return. What if everyone lived this way? It would be amazing and we’d be taking such good care of each other.
2. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I learned this one from Thumper, Bambi’s friend. No, I actually learned it from my parents, but it is so, so true. This would change the world of social media. How about you don’t type that comment on Facebook or Twitter. How about you delete it? I just think anyone can tear another person down, see if you can build someone up instead. If you can’t, then say NOTHING! Move along.
3. Don’t say things to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone you love. My sisters and I remind each other of this one all the time. We like to say things about ourselves that we would never, in a million years, say to each other. Treat yourself well, and be good to you. Even though you may not believe this, the people around you will really like it. People like to be around people who love themselves, because it actually frees one up to love others even more. When we aren’t hyper-critical of ourselves we can see all the great things in the people that surround us. PS this is not describing arrogant love, it’s actually knowing who you really are and giving yourself a break, kind of love.
4. Live each day as though it’s your last. If you love people, tell them. If you have dreams, go for them! If you really want to do something, do it. We don’t always have second chances with people, or events or windows of opportunity. When it’s there, take it! No one knows what tomorrow brings, and we may not even have tomorrow. Don’t wait. I’m sure I have friends or family that would tell you I send them weird text about how much I love them, or what I like about them, or even tell them how much they mean to me. Maybe it freaks people out. But I may never have the chance to do it later. I’ve always lived in a manner that if I died tonight, no one in my life would be wondering what they meant to me. It’s important to me. Imagine if we all said those important things to each other. How many walls would be broken or hearts mended. We need to do it now, not when the timing is better.
5. Remember each day is the first day of the rest of your life. I know this is the cheesiest one, but we get to start new every day. Leave the past behind you and start fresh. This is really about moving forward. Always move forward, without the past reminding you of failures or things you didn’t do before. The sun rises each day and brings us new opportunities to do things a different way. We never have to stay who we are, and we always have room for change and growth, take it.
What are your “Golden Rules?”