I got inspired by this blog today about rules. The rules of life. The rules, or guidelines, or whatever you want to call them. Go visit Kristin and leave a comment, willya? She’s got some skillz. (No, that’s not a rule.)
I’m talking about things like “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” or like Kristin says, ones about not calling a guy for three days or whatever the hell little saying or truism or outright bullshit applies to the situation at hand.
The thing is, rules were made to be broken.
And then reinvented.
I was thinking about this the other day: rules, morals, values, manners, laws. Some (laws) we have to adhere to lest complete and total anarchy rule the streets. Which, at times, I think is not necessarily a bad thing…but others, I sincerely beleive, were invented just to be a pain in the ass.
I think that determining your own Rules on how you will govern yourself is key to understanding who you are and becoming a better person.
Not mindlessly doing something because “they” tell you to, but finding your own reasons to do it (or not to, as the case may be).
When I was a kid, the Rule in the house was “don’t talk back”. For a short time, my stepfather actually tried to make me call him “sir” and my mother “ma’am”. Unfortunately for him (and for me, on certain occasions), forced respect has never, ever worked well. I beleive I blogged about my complete and utter distaste for the words “don’t talk back” or “don’t question me”. Those Rules I will NEVER live by.
Other Rules are good ones. Don’t talk with your mouth full (because seeing your food is bad enough, but hearing it will honestly make me go over the edge). Don’t interrupt. Always say “please” and “thank you”. Be polite. Apologize. Don’t settle. Work hard. Think for yourself. Act first.
Those Rules are important. Some, I learned the value of the hard way. Some are ingrained from childhood.
The point being, that I think everyone needs to decide for themselves what the Rules are. If you’re only operating on Rules that other people make up for you, without knowing why or the reasons behind them, you will never take accountability for your actions…because you can always tell yourself “I was just following the rules”. That leaves no room for self-determination, no room for making your OWN mistakes and learning from them, no room to own up and say, “Hey, I fucked this up and I would like to fix it.” Those experiences are the real, gut-wrenching, life-changing, purpose-defining moments. Those are the ones you will never experience if you follow along with “the Rules” as laid down by others.
2Ns Rules for 2N:
- Do the right thing. Always, even when it hurts, even when you’re scared.
- Be accountable.
- Be mannerly.
- Do not settle.
- Be honest. Always, up-front, soul-baringly honest. Any other way is untrue to who you are. Be responsible for your emotional wake.
- Live your rules, but do not force your rules on others.
- Work hard, do not depend on others for assistance.
- Leave behind a legacy for your child(ren).
- Be defiant.
- Question everything.
- Remember humility.
- Follow your heart.
- Be a good person.
Those are my Rules. The only ones. I don’t have rock solid religious beleifs that stand outside those mentioned. I beleive that in doing those things, I am doing what needs to be done in the eyes of whatever god(s) are out there, and that when the time comes, I will be judged not on which of the made-up rules I followed, but on the worthiness of my soul, on the quality of my spirit, and the strength with which I governed my life.
And if that’s not enough?
I will still go my own way, doing what I think is right. I am defiant.