The mistake of finishing everything you start-The Golden Rules

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You probably have heard of the golden rules. Here they are again in a column from Ann Landers.

socal security comic
social security comic

Golden Rules for Living
by Miriam Hamilton Keare

1. If you open it, close it.
2. If you turn it on, turn it off.
3. If you unlock it, lock it up.
4. If you break it, admit it.
5. If you can’t fix it, call in someone who can.
6. If you borrow it, return it.
7. If you value it, take care of it.
8. If you make a mess, clean it up.
9. If you move it, put it back.
10. If it belongs to someone else, get permission to use it.
11. If you don’t know how to operate it, leave it alone.
12. If it’s none of your business, don’t ask questions.

Another golden rule I live by is that if I start something, then I finish it. I have to admit that this is not as helpful as it seems. It has led me to do many things which have wasted my time and made me feel unhappy. So I think a revised rule is in order.

13. Only start and continue doing that which is helpful to yourself and others.

As long as we are talking about rules I also like the 7 Habits of highly effective people.

  1. Sharpen the saw. Don’t work yourself to death.
  2. Be proactive
  3. Begin with an end in mind.
  4. Put first things first
  5. Think win-win.
  6. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
  7. Synergize.
  8. 8th rule – Find your voice and help others find their voices.
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These are the guidelines that I live by. They all could be summarized as “Treat others how I want to be treated.” I respect and show kindness to others and seek to understand and value how they think. I must admit that at times I have a hard time appreciating other people’s points of view, but I can see why they might feel this way.

For example, I was researching a few days ago why it seems that some kinds of people don’t seem to care about people beyond their immediate family. It turns out that in the brain of many people they instinctually have more empathy for those in their immediate social circle and family and don’t identify with others. They distrust people they don’t think are like them.

Therefore conservatives view the world as a more fearful place, where their sense of survival is threatened. That doesn’t mean that is the truth, but that is what they perceive as the truth. In this context, when people are acting conservatively they are doing what their brain tells them is reasonable and justified.

You can’t argue with people’s brain states. People rarely have the awareness to appreciate that their beliefs are not consciously chosen but based on fear and mistrust. People are not so much choosing to be jerks, they literally see the world as a different place than those of us who aren’t in this brain condition.

I think the world is better than that. I think that everyone wants to be happy and that given a fair chance, people generally do the right thing. That is why I choose to act with hope, love and respect for everyone. Will you join me in this?

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