My Rules to Live By…
~ Guidelines for how to behave, both in what kinds of choices you make and how you act. ~
- all the small gods
One of my favorite book quotes and something I wholeheartedly believe. From “Small Gods” by the eternally fantastic Sir Terry Pratchett:
There are billions of gods in the world. They swarm as thick as herring roe. Most of them are too small to see and never get worshiped, at least by anything bigger than a bacteria, who never say their prayers and don’t demand much in the way of miracles.
They are the small gods — the spirits of places where two ant trails cross, the gods of micro-climates down between the grass roots. And most of them stay that way.
Because what they lack is belief.
A handful though, go on to greater things. Anything may trigger it. A shepherd, seeking a lost lamb, finds it among the briars and takes a minute or two to build a small cairn of stones in general thanks to whatever spirit might be around the place. Or a peculiarly shaped tree becomes associated with a cure for disease. Or someone carves a spiral on an isolated stone. Because what gods need is belief, and what humans want is gods.
Often it stops there, But sometimes it goes further. More rocks are added, more stones are raised, a temple is built on the site where the tree once stood. The god grows in strength, the belief of its worshipers raising it upwards like a thousand tons of rocket fuel. For a very few, the sky’s the limit.
And, sometimes, not even that.
By this description I am a small god… I only have a few self-created worshipers! (my children) lol
- Mister Rogers’ holiday message is simple and clear.
“I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to give you for Christmas. I’d really like to give you something that just fits your own wishes and needs the way these shoes just fit me. I suppose the thing I’d like most to be able to give you is hope. Hope that through your own doing and your own living with others, you’ll be able to find what best fits for you in this life…I, for one, wish you good memories of this holiday. And I hope you’ll be able to look for all the different ways that people have of showing that they love you.” ~ Mister Rogers
Read the full text here — brought to you by mental_floss!
- Beam like the sun
“You cannot define yourself in reference to other external coordinates, you must define yourself internally with a relationship with a higher entity. Think of yourself as a manifestation of some higher “thing”, some higher frequency, this is the visible realization. And you know that because you can’t see atoms can you? You certainly can’t see the forces that hold atoms together. There in the micro quantum world [Richard], lie the answers to everything. we cant understand it with our logical rational minds, but we feel it, intuitively. get yourself in alignment with that stuff and you BEAM like the sun.” ~ Russel Brand, 2013
- Yoda’s Wisdom on Mastering Your Life with Patience, Presence, Power, and Compassion
Yoda and Ben’s Jedi Master training gives us an elegant, compassionate formula for mastering our emotions, our powers, and our lives:
* BE PATIENT * BE PRESENT
* CLEAR YOUR MIND
* FEEL THE FORCE
* USE THE FORCE
* BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
* RECOGNIZE YOUR DARK SIDE
* FACE YOUR DARK SIDE
* COMPLETE THE TRAINING
* COMPASSION TOWARDS ALL
* THE FINAL STEP: OVERCOME YOUR DARK SIDE
- Some more rules…
- People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
- If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
- If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
- The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
- Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
- The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the
- smallest minds. Think big anyway.
- People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
- What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
- People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
- Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
— Kent M. Keith
In the end it’s between you and your higher power not between you and them anyway.
- To thine own self be true
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
- Affirmations of Humanism
- We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.
- We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.
- We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.
- We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.
- We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.
- We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.
- We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped so that they will be able to help themselves.
- We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.
- We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.
- We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.
- We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.
- We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.
- We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.
- We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. We want to nourish reason and compassion.
- We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.
- We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos.
- We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.
- We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service to others.
- We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.
- We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings.
** The above is my edited version, I had to remove one item that I didn’t 100% agree with and I highlighted a couple things that really speak to me personally. You can read the original text here.
You can purchase your own copy of the Affirmations of Humanism on parchment, suitable for framing, here.
- Be virtuous…
- Harm none, do what you will. In all your endeavors you’ve the right to act on your will or nature so long as you do no harm to others.
- Everything is a choice, every moment, every breath. Choose carefully and be aware of the consequences.
- Abide the law of reciprocity or do unto others as you want done to you. All things will be returned three times, right or wrong.
- Be an optimist not a pessimist. There is good in everyone and everything. Sometimes it’s just hard to see, doubly so if you’re always looking in the dark.
- Don’t be afraid, live this life to it’s fullest. You’ll have many more lives to live after this one.
- Have Courage. This means doing what you believe is right (physically if required), or refusing to do what you believe is wrong, even when other people laugh at you and your friends won’t support your choices. Courage is not bravery or lack of fear. It is being afraid and still doing the right thing. Knowing when to step into the fire is just as important as the stepping itself. There’s a fine line between bravery and fool-heartedness. Courage is the virtue that gives you the “heart” to do the best you can to defend others and to do what’s right.
- Be Honest. Don’t tell lies to anyone including yourself. Don’t lie by omission or by not telling the whole story or not speaking at all. Don’t justify your untruths… the truth hurts but it is better than weaving a web of lies that spiral out of control. Recognize that there may be more than one truth. The sky is blue, the sky is black. Both are true depending what time it is. It is not important for you to prove that something is true if you know it to be so – some people just need more time to see things.
- Have Honor. Your personal sense of honor is your commitment to live by the standards you believe should earn you respect from others. Don’t make promises you can’t or won’t keep. Don’t be disloyal or dishonest. Exhibit the virtues that you believe in and others will have respect for you. If you act with courage, tell the truth, are loyal to others, behave with discipline, are hospitable and industrious, rely on yourself to accomplish things, and persevere until you finish what you set out to do, you will certainly command honor from others. More important, if you live that way, you can honor and respect yourself as well and never need to be ashamed of what you have done.
- Practice Fidelity. Be faithful to your beliefs and ethics. Be faithful and loyal to your family and friends. If you are in a monogamous relationship this means being faithful to your partner and not violating that trust by being with others. Or, if you make a promise to a friend or family member – you keep that promise. You never make promises that you cannot keep. It also means being faithful to your beliefs and not dismissing them to fit in or be accepted by a peer group, employer, or situation. It means not doing the wrong things because they are easier than the doing the right things.
- Be Disciplined. In all that you do practice makes perfect. The trick in practicing discipline is to choose to learn and practice patterns that make you or your life better so that the end result is worth any trouble the process may create. The most important discipline you practice is self-discipline. That is, you decide you want to match a pattern and then you keep working at making the pattern a part of how you live until it is part of your character.
- Be Hospitable. We survive together or not at all. Humans survive by helping each other and that, in a way, all humans are part of the same family. You practice hospitality when you treat other people like they are your family, with kindness and respect. Help your neighbors, friends and family. Be courteous, generous & kind in all that you do with everyone you come in contact with.
- Be Self-reliant. There’s an old adage that states: God helps those who help themselves. Be independent, take responsibility for your actions – good or bad, earn things on your own to learn their true value. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it but don’t be lazy – do all that you can do on your own first. When you have made yourself into a person that doesn’t need to depend on others you will truly be free since you will be the one solely responsible for your circumstances.
- Be Industrious. Do more than the minimum to get by. If you have a job, task duty, or even something fun – you should always do the very best you know how, and take pride in doing it right, whether or not other people notice that you did more than you had to. If someone asks you to something, and you accept responsibility for it, they should be able to count on you to complete it and to do it on time and to meet the standards they set. This also applies in a bigger sense to being a benefit and contributor to your community.
- Persevere. Try, try again! Never give up! If you fall, get up, brush yourself off and go at it again! The one true thing about winners is that they all tried. If you fail sometimes, that’s okay too. It’s the people who fail and get past their failure that really succeed in life.
Be Honorable and Praiseworthy:
- Be generous & gift often
- Do all things in moderation
- Remain loyal to family, country, & your faith
- Be courageous & brave
- Seek out good over evil
- Be Hospitable & Courteous
- Teach & practice Tolerance & Acceptance of all
- Pursue wisdom & knowledge
- Defend freedom
- Be Industrious (and a benefit to your community)
- Be Vigilant
- Protect, nurture and be considerate of family
- Show respect for elders
- Be Loyal to friends and family
- Keep your promises
- Honor your commitments
- Refrain from mockery
- Refrain from arrogance
- Put Family, Honor & Justice before all else
- Practice good hygiene (Cleanliness is next to godliness)
- Maintain your dignity in all situations
- Good organization is a benefit to you and a reflection on you
- Be persistent – never give up!
- Follow the rule of law
- Fight fair, win or lose with honor and humility, respect your opponent
- Respect the dead
- Do not strike without reason, avoid violence when diplomacy will do
- Do not abuse your power
Some more thoughts…
- Treat the Earth and all that dwell theron with respect, I do not believe that we [humans] have dominion over animals or plants. In other words, we need to live with the Earth and all things on it it and not just live ON the the Earth.
- Show great respect for those who earn it and respect you in kind. I don’t believe that all persons demand respect as there are some very evil people in the world.
- Work together for the benefit of all mankind and dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good. In other words, the needs of the many outwiegh the needs of the few.
- Give assistance and kindness wherever, whenever and to whomever needs it. Altruism is not dead, I believe being kind and generous is it own reward.
- Do what you know to be right even if those around you disagree. At the end of the day it is your conscience that needs to be answered not others.
- Be truthful and honest at all times. I can’t stress this enough… dishonesty is the catalyst of so many evil deeds. Or… you don’t need to lie if there’s nothing to lie about!
- Take full responsibility for your actions – even if it results in punishment. Better to face and pay for your actions then have to be dishonest (see above).
- Knowledge is your greatest ally. What we do not understand we fear and what we fear we oftimes try to destroy. Be a source of truth and creation in the world not one of ignorance, fear-mongering and destruction.
And in no particular order…
- The conclusion is always the same: Love is the most powerful and still the most unknown energy of the world. ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
- With a stout heart, a mouse can lift an elephant. ~ Tibetan proverb
- One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us. ~ Black Elk
- Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. ~ Nelson Mandela
- Give me knowledge, so I may have kindness for all. ~ Native American (Plains) Proverb
- In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught. ~ Baba Dioum
- No face which we can give to a matter will stead us so well at last as the truth. …Say what you have to say, not what you ought. Any truth is better than make-believe. ~ Henry David Thoreau
- You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
- Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing in the tempting place. ~ Benjamin Franklin
- It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope; and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~ Robert F. Kennedy