Please forgive me if you find this patronizing or insulting. I'm writing it without any malice in mind. This just seems, to me anyway, to be something that hasn't been addressed to enough people in a way that they could wrap their head around or take in and apply to their lives. This may fall on deaf ears, but I can hope not. I firmly believe what I'm saying, I have raised my children by these principles... these rules... and I just want to take a moment to share them here with you.
For a long time I didn't think the basic things had to be discussed, but I have been shown (painfully so) that I am wrong. That being said, just so I know that everyone is, at the very least, aware of the rules of life (as I see them) I guess I have to actually spell them out.
If we, you and I - dear reader, don't have these rules as a basic foundation of agreement then I don't know that we can have positive interactions in the world we share. That makes me sad, but it is what it is, I guess.
Without further ado, these are the rules:
- Respect other human beings. Their rights to life and safety are equal to you. This is not changed based on age, skin color, weight, height, belief system, income, location, relationship status, gender, sexual orientation, or any other differing criteria you can potentially try to use to lessen them by comparison to you.
- Don't intentionally inflict pain. hit, kick, bite, scratch, slap, punch, throw things at, physically assault, sexually assault. rape, kill, cripple, maim, or cause lasting physical or psychological damage to another human being. Why not? Because they are human beings. Respect other human beings.
- Be emotionally, intellectually, and practically honest. Don't lie about or to, be excessively cruel or even unkind to, steal from, plagiarize, spread rumors about, slander, betray, take from, keep from, or actively work against the happiness of another human being. Why not? Because they are human beings. Respect other human beings.
Is any of this truly all that difficult?
These are the rules. Beyond them there are a series of little truths, true facts, but they exist in addition to the rules, not in spite of them or to supersede them.
Truth: Mistakes will be made. It's a sad fact, but that makes it no less a fact. That fact doesn't mean you don't try to live up to these simple rules. It doesn't afford a free pass, or serve as an excuse.
Truth: Not everyone will follow the rules. Some people will just suck at being human. Always have, always will. This is not a free pass. But "he/she/they broke a rule first!", you say? Guess what? Life's not fair. Like I said, mistakes will be made. Even if they aren't treating you with the respect due you as a human being it doesn't relieve you of the burden of respecting others as human beings.
Truth: Forgiveness of anyone by anyone is always an option. It is, however, in no way mandatory. Request it, don't expect it.
Do these rules apply to bathroom usage? Yes. Do they apply to marriage and/or dessert baking and/or decoration? Yes. Do they apply to any and all interactions you have with any other human being you come in contact with in person or anonymously through a digital medium? Yes. Always.
Ultimately, Do unto others as you would have done... to you, or anyone you love as much as, or more than, yourself.