I don't have a religion, and I don't want to start a debate about religion. It's an argument that no one ever wins. Wars have been (and still are) fought over similar arguments.
I do however, like how certain religions give their followers a moral code. I think that's good. Sometimes I think that religions were built as a form of ancient law enforcement. Instead of, don't kill that guy, you'll go to prison. You have don't kill that guy, you'll burn for all eternity and have Kevin Bacon for company. Or something like that.
Instead of God, I have my own moral code. It's more like Phil Sturgeon's 'Don't be a Dick' open source license than the 10 commandments.
I wast taught these rules by my parents (who are awesome, hi mum, hi dad!) and developed them through life experiences. If you're not bored already, then I'd be happy to share them with you. (The rules, not my parents.)
1. The Golden Rule
We all know this one already. Treat others as you would like to be treated. It's the official don't be a dick rule.
It takes a while to get used to though. You have to think about all of your actions, and how they might be effecting others around you. While this might take a second or two, I think the outcome of not offending someone makes it all work out.
2. I am not always right.
In fact, I'm wrong a lot of the time. I never like to assume that I know everything. If someone were to ask me...
What colour is this orange?
I'd think about it and say.
You know, I think it might be orange?
That's instead of...
It's definitely orange. Orange is what that is.
I just feel that giving an opinion, or your interpretation of the answer to a questions gives welcome to the opinion of others. You don't agree with this rule? Well, that's fine! I'm not always right.
3. Females are amazing.
I'm a fan of equality. I think that ladies are beautiful, powerful, and sometimes scarey creatures. I think that they can, and are welcome to do anything that I can.
While this is true, it's fair to say that while nature has gifted women with beauty, and sometimes fascinating wobbly bits, it has chosen to gift us guys with muscle and hairy ears.
For some reason, some men have decided that this gift of muscle is an invitation to inflict violence upon the opposite sex. Which is purely stupid.
I'm a firm believer in many of the good old fashioned rules.
- Don't beat on women.
- Treat women with respect, and empower them.
- Be a gentleman!
Of course, when I say old fashioned rules, I mean 'common fucking sense'.
4. Don't kill things.
Loads of religions have this one... wait apart from the ones that demand sacrifices. I take that back. Anyway, when it comes to murder of a fellow human being, then I think it comes back to the golden rule.
As I explained at the start of the post though, these rules aren't a strict doctrine. No, they are more of a guideline, and so if I see one of these...
I will scream like a baby and throw things at it. I'll reach for the vacuum cleaner, or ask a brave superhero to take care of it.
I've never understood why my brain reacts this way. Fear is a strange thing. All I know is that when I see one of these creepy eight-legged demons, I lose the ability to breathe, and would prefer for it to be not near me, and if it is near me, then preferably dead near me.
5. I'm not afraid of what others think of me.
Now this is another rule that I use in moderation. I'm not about to strip off and go dancing through the streets of Cardiff, because I have a set of moobs that would make half of the female population extremely jealous. I don't want to expose them to the world, and I guess I'd rather not have people think about them at all.
What I don't care about is my thoughts. I certainly respect the opinions of others (rule 2) and would gladly re-evaluate my thoughts if I found credit in an argument. It's more about not being afraid to share those thoughts even if they are strange.
I think that my writing is a little simple, and would likely drive English literature graduates barmy. Yet I've still written several books, because I'm not afraid to share my thoughts. I'm glad I did, because some people like simple. Let's be simple together!
Due to circumstances and mental states that are outside the scope of this article, I'm not always happy. I'm often not happy.
Unless you've caught me on a very bad day, you'll never know about this unhappiness. I know that there are billions of other people with problems greater than the problems my mind tries to convince me that I have. It's not fair to force them upon others. So if I'm not feeling happy, I smile. I chat, and I write funny things.
If I'm unable to smile, then I might keep my distance for a while, but I'll try to keep my unhappiness from you. It's infectious, so I wear a mask.
7. If you're not enjoying it, don't do it.
This isn't just a rule to live by, it's also one of the greatest pieces of advice that I have to offer.
How do you feel about your job? Don't like it? Well quit and find something that you enjoy doing. If you're going to spend half of your life working for someone else, then you might as well enjoy it.
If you can't afford to quit, then seek a new job in silence. Be sneaky, sneaky. Paying the bills is important, especially when you have a family relying on your income, but they wouldn't want to see you suffer forever.
Misery is also extremely infectious in the work place. If you're not enjoying your work, then don't inflict that misery upon others who might otherwise enjoy what they do.
Be warned, shameless plug incoming.
I work at Just Park because I get to work with a team of people who are genuinelly excited by the skills that they are using, and I'm working on a project that solves real problems for real people out in the real world.
If for one second I found that I was either no longer useful to the company or no longer enjoying the work that I do, then I'd leave the company immediately.
(Pssst.. don't panic Just Parkers, this is purely explanatory.)
Life is incredibly short in the grand scheme of things. Do the things that you enjoy doing, as long as they don't interfere with the happiness of others.
Take a few trips. Look at things that inspire you. Make something using a creative skill, because deep down, everyone is creative.
Write a second, non-technical blog about potentially controversial topics. Wink wink.