Premises to live by:
If I had to boil my whole philosophy down to one sentance, it would be: "Enjoy life to it's fullest, but don't screw anyone over in the process, including yourself". The rest of this collection is basically explorations on that theme.
Enjoy life. Each person has a finite amount of time, it should be spent wisely. Don't live a miserable now trying for a better future. On the other hand, don't blow the future by playing around too much now.
If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.
Don't do anything that you couldn't stand people finding out about. Corallary: don't write anything down that you couldn't stand other people reading.
Life is not fair, but it's unfair to everyone.
Things will go wrong. Especially if you let them. It is just as foolish to let things bother you when they do as it is to say "things are going to go wrong anyways, so why bother".
Your happiness is dependent entirely upon your perception of the situation. If you dwell on the bad, or let it upset you then you will be unhappy. The key is to enjoy what you are doing. This is often easier if you can manage to be doing what you enjoy.
Money can't buy happiness, but it makes it easier to get a lot of the things that keep you from being miserable. Like the poster says, "I've been rich, and I've been poor. Rich is better".
I have found that happiness lies not in having acheived goals, but in the process of acheiving goals. If I am not striving for something, I am not happy. The quest may not be pleasant, but without one I am not happy.
Morals & ethics: All morality/ethics is based on the concept that if everyone follows a certain set of rules, the world will be a nicer place for everyone to live. (1)
Honor Courtesy and Chivalry: Personal honor is a concept that is sadly lacking in our culture. It is often important to do "the right thing" simply because it *is* the right thing. (2) Courtesy is also very underrated in our society. Our society places very little importance on ones honor, and considers it wrong to defend ones honor with violence. Hence there is little motivation for politeness. Note how polite people from violent cultures often are. If someone might behead you for being rude, there is a lot more incentive to be polite. Very few people believe in being courteous for the sheer aesthetics of it.
Personal Responsibility: Every adult should take responsibility for their own actions. (3)
To a large extent, we each make our own luck. By checking things before they go wrong, it is often possible to prevent them from going wrong. By being prepared for problems, the problems are much less severe when they occur.
Sexism, bigotry etc.: I feel that people should be judged on their individual capabilities. I don't think that someone should be discriminated against because of their genetic makeup or social background. Neither do I feel that someone should get extra breaks because of same. It is a sign of sexual security to not be bothered by the sex-role connotations of an action. Men who are confident in their sexuality are not afraid to perform activities considered feminine, neither are confident women afraid to do things considered masculine.
There are good memetic reasons for bigotry/xenophobia. It is safer to not trust what you do not know. The other person (society) may not be working with your best interests at heart. People (or rather all living things) always look after their own. I am not defending bigotry, I am explaining it. When you meet someone new, you should ask yourself if there is any reason in particular why you should or should not trust them. Make a concious decision, don't just react on cultural bias because they are different.
What other people think is not inherently important. You are living your own life, not theirs. On the other hand, if social interaction is at all important to you, you must take into account how your actions will affect peoples perception of you.
Honesty and Trust: In order for people to trust each other, they must operate on the premise that the other person is telling the truth. That is the moralistic reason to tell the truth. The practical reason is even simpler, the other person will eventually learn the truth anyways. The Machiavelian reason is that if someone finds out that you are capable of successfully lying to them, they will not trust you in the future.
There are three ways to lie to someone. 1) Tell them an untruth. 2) Tell them only part of the truth. 3) Tell them the truth in such a way that they think that you are lying.
Love and Sex: There is nothing inherently good or evil about the act of sex.
For some reason our culture has us brainwashed to believe that without a soulmate, we cannot really be happy.
There is a need (to a varying degree) in all of us to be held and touched. Hugs can help satisfy this need. As such they are as necessary as food, water or air. Sex can also just be an extra special hug.
There are many reasons to have sex: Physical release. Recreation. Hugging, only more so. Procreation. An expression of love.
Jealousy is a funny emotion. I realize that it is possible to share physical affection with more than one person with out diminishing the emotional attachment to anyone. But for some reason it still hurts me when the person that I care about has sex with someone else. I used to consider it a weakness on my part. Now, I just accept it as the way I am. Miscelaneous ramblings explaining above: (1) All morality/ethics is based on the concept that if everyone follows a certain set of rules, the world will be a nicer place for everyone to live. Hence, do unto others... etc. The problem comes from people not agreeing upon what makes the world a nicer place. Some people feel that it is their responsibility/right to help/protect anyone that they deem in need. Other people just want to be left the fuck alone. When a moral decision comes up, I try and base my decision on the wishes of the affected parties. Then again, my moral code is tempered by personal needs and requirements. Very high on my list of good things, is my own survival. Stealing is bad, my starving to death is worse. Killing is bad, my getting the shit kicked out of me is worse.
(2) Again we get back to the concept that morality is the set of rules that makes the world a better place for everyone. This is where the concept of Noblesse Oblige comes in. It is important for the strong to help and protect the weak. Note that in different situations, the roles of strong and weak may be reversed. One person may protect someone else from being beat up. Then the second person may turn around and tend to the others wounds. Likewise, if I see someone struggling with a heavy load, I will often offer to help.
(#) By having a specific set of rules telling people how to behave, it is a lot easier to keep from offending them. Also if a culture or subculture has it's own code of ettiquette, someone from outside the culture will stand out and be instantly recognizable as a stranger. See Xenophobia.
(3) If someone does something stupid and gets themself killed, they are just doing their part to improve the gene pool. For some reason, our culture seems to feel that people should be protected from themselves, whether they want it or not.
don't let the past bother you, what is done is done. Go on with life, fix what is wrong if you can.
work with what you've got. If you can get the tools you need/want then get them. If you can't then do what you can with what you've got. ~lrc/word/save:
Last modified 06/22/98
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