Inspired by Chris Pratt (a rarity in Hollywood – an actor who advocates for morality) and Jordan B. Peterson, I came up with my own short, anecdotal list of rules that have been of help to me and have been developed from years of living.
Not as profound as Solomon, but I humbly present the following:
Try to remember to be compassionate. If you fail, try again. You never know what someone else is going through and we all need as much grace as we can get.
Don’t forget that social media isn’t real life. Not even close.
Try to be humorous, but remember that comedy is mostly about timing. Not every time is appropriate for cracking a joke. Even sarcasm and sardonic wit have their place. But yes, humour goes a long way.
Stay away from stupid (people). John Wayne was heard to have said that ‘Life is hard. It’s harder if you’re stupid’. More cowboy wisdom: Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear or a fool from any direction.
There is only one way to be saved; be single minded in your pursuit of working out your salvation with fear and trembling.
Be mindful of your Audience of One and live accordingly; repent often but sincerely.
Put a lot of thought into your opinions and stand up for them. Remember too that many issues are complex, and know that you could have only part of the story. Be open to amendments to that opinion. However if you’re certain you’re right, don’t wimp out. Base your thinking on authoritative sources and appeal to those when voicing your opinion. Remember that most people are closed minded and are predisposed to not hearing or seeing contrary evidence, so it’s hard not to get frustrated. However that has no bearing on the appropriateness of rightness of standing up for well developed opinion.
If you’re a man, live with honour. If you don’t know what that is, watch the movies of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood; study the ethos of the United States Marine Corps. If you’re a woman, I’ll have to get back to you on that, but remember that at his core a man wants to do the right thing and a subtle encouragement is better than a makeover sustained by many words (I wanted to say try not to nag, but that would come across as too unkind).
Be wary of blindly trusting people in authority. One of the greatest epiphanies of adulthood is that everyone is winging it. Everyone’s human, everyone has an angle and its puddysticks to end up abusing authority.
Treat all media reporting with a large grain of salt. If the mainstream media in the Trump age has taught me anything is that the media are more enthralled by their ability to manipulate the public with emotion rather than the pursuit of truth or fact. When you make an error of fact, admit to it. We should all be better than CNN.
Read Scripture. It’s the opposite of fake news, and is in fact good news. Being Biblically literate is a rare commodity in today’s world.