So I wondered why I didn’t answer this daily prompt the first time it came around, but it seems that it was posted the day before my wedding (March 30th, I was married March 31st). I had other things on my mind. ETA… hahahaha! Stupid memory… this was posted a year after my wedding. Sigh. I must have been busy doing something else. Anniversary stuff or something. Ha! The prompt itself asks us: Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?
Do I have a code that I live by… eh… kind of. I try to not be bored. I try to have fun as much as possible. I try not be a burden on others… but I don’t have any strict rules or regulations that I live with. The Wiccans have a rule that goes something like Do what you like so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Though they word it like If it harms none, do as you will. And that’s a good rule to start off with. Nothing wrong with that rule at all. No harm, no foul, right? And I do live by that rule for the most part. Except there’s hardly going to be a time when my actions won’t hurt someone, somewhere. So I’m not going to sit around thinking of every consequence of every action I make (I know people who do this… It drives me insane). Think about competitive games (like football) someone’s got to win, and someone’s got to lose. It’s the way the world works. I’m not going to drive myself nuts trying to please everyone, and I don’t expect other people to drive themselves nuts trying to please me all the time either. For goodness sake, if we didn’t feel sadness every once in a while, how would we ever know what happiness is?
That’s why, sometimes, even if I know my actions will directly hurt someone, I still have to go through with them because my number one creed has to be that I come first. That sounds so selfish, but it’s not. All my life, I’ve seen people made miserable by putting everyone before themselves. I’ve watched friends of mine turn into resentful, bitter shadows of themselves because they never learned how to say “no” to anyone. So while I do try not to hurt other people’s feelings and try to be helpful whenever I can, I come first. As my body continues to rebel against me, this motto become more and more ingrained in me. It has to.
So, values, I consider myself a fairly honest person. I do a good job of being honest… for the most part. The problem with that, is I’m a storyteller. I tend to embellish when I tell stories. Oh, for the most part when I tell about things that happen to me the facts are true but some parts get exaggerated, like first there were two of something, then five. Or it happened two days ago, then maybe four, or a couple of hours. I think part of that is that I have an awful time with numbers (Dyscalculia you know) and it’s easier for me to just say the first number that comes to mind. But some of it is the storyteller in me wanting to take a ho-hum story and make it just a little better without outright lying. 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I’ll lie through my teeth if I have to without compunction, and I have an honest face so I get away with it (I’da made a great con artist), but lies are exhausting to keep up with, so I tend to stick to the truth. Plus, I don’t like being lied to, so… I don’t lie to other people, especially those who’ve earned my trust and those to whom I have no reason to lie.
Most societies have a variation of the Christian’s Golden Rule — Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I follow that too. If I don’t like someone doing something to me, I don’t do it to other people. I don’t like people being rude to me, so I try to be polite as much as possible. But that’s a selfish thing too, because I’ve used that to my advantage too. I mean, it’s amazing what doors open up when one is polite instead of obnoxious. ^_^ Speaking of which, I hated it when people treated me like a servant when I worked in retail, so I treat people who work in retail as people, not servants. When I have my store, if anyone is that rude or obnoxious to the people who work in my store, they (my workers) will have the right to throw their asses out. That won’t fly in my store. The list of what I don’t do to others because I won’t like it if they do it to me goes on, but rudeness tops it.
I like to stay on the sunny side of legal, so I don’t do anything that’s gonna get me thrown in jail. I won’t bail anyone out of jail either. I told every single one of my kids and nieces who lived with me that if they ever got arrested and did what they were arrested for, don’t call me for bail. They can stay their happy ass in jail. One, because they were stupid enough to break the law and two because they were dumb enough to get caught. I mean, if you’re gonna do something illegal at least be smart enough to not get caught at it. Which is why I’m not a good con artist even though I have the face for it, because I don’t have the mind for it. There’s way too much planning involved in a good con (I watch TV!) and I don’t have the attention span. Plus, I don’t think I’d do well in prison, so I stay on the sunny side of legal.
Way back when I was a kid this commercial flitted across my TV screen and it had an impact on me.
Even before this commercial, I didn’t consider myself judgmental. But this commercial really got it in my brain. So I do my damnedest to accept people as they are on an individual basis. Because individual people are great. I love people one to one and I have no problem dealing with people in small groups. It’s the masses that I have a hard time with. Yeah, I have my prejudices… everyone does. I won’t say what they are because y’all don’t need to know them. I keep them to myself and they don’t affect other people.
That’s another principle I live my life by, I don’t go shouting my deep darks from the rooftops. Once a secret is out, even if it’s to your best friend, it’s no longer a secret, so one of the other principles I have is to never tell, whisper, or write down anything I don’t want anyone else to know… even if I think my secret will be “safe” when I do. Not that I have a lot of secrets… because another principle that I live by is to never have anything in my life that someone can blackmail me with. That’s a weird one, huh? Maybe I watched too many soap operas as a kid, but I decided early on to never be a victim of blackmail, so I keep my nose clean and my secrets small. ^_^
In essence, my main principle is this: