My life has been easier and more rewarding since I adopted the following caveats to life. These caveats are assumed for all content on this site.
1) When I refer to “everyone”, or appear to make sweeping comments, I am, naturally, only referring to people that I have had an actual experience with, i.e. Everyone in my world. Those I have met, directly witnessed, or been in the presence of are the only people I can ever hope to have a valid opinion about – emphases on hope to. While I accept that many stereotypes exists for a reason, it should go without saying that I have no opinions about people I haven’t directly experienced.
2) I assume everyone is doing their best and do not to blame people for acting in ways I disagree with. It doesn’t matter that I may not agree with, or even understand why some people do what they do. I assume they are doing the best they can with the circumstances they have been given, just as I assume I am doing the best with the circumstances I have been given. Sometimes, retrospectively, I may argue I could have done “better”, but with what I had to deal with at the time, I trust that I did my best. I choose to assume this is true for everyone.
3) I take responsibility for my actions and my words but expect you to place my words and actions into the context of me being me. If you judge me, that’s your problem. If I upset you, chances are you misunderstood me or we simply disagree. I know my intentions are always good even if my words aren’t always ideal. I stand by my intentions and am willing to explain my words.
4) I selfishly enjoy moments as much as I can. This is my life to enjoy and as a wise man once said, “Life is too short to work with assholes”. Moments are captured by those that witness them and interpreted by personal understandings and priorities. My priorities are to find playfulness and fun. Your’s are your’s.
5) I choose to believe that facts rarely really exist. Dinosaurs used to be mammals – that was a “fact”. Now apparently they’re birds. My desk is made of atoms, but I can’t prove it. I choose to believe that facts are simply the leading theories or the latest opinions of the loudest voices. In today’s world, all facts can be manipulated, changed, or ignored. I believe what I believe because I believe it – but I’ll believe something else if you change my mind. My “facts” are my opinions, nothing more, and they change because I grow.
6) Anything I say today I can change tomorrow. I am confident in my opinions and I am willing to take responsibility for my words only because I don’t presume to be an expert. What I know today surpasses what I knew yesterday and tomorrow I shall know even more. What I say today I believe today, but what I believe today may not be what any of us believe tomorrow.
7) I put more stock in what I hear from others than from what I read from others. Books are wisdom on the day they we’re published, words are wisdom the day they are spoken. Books and words can be true or false but I can’t look into the eyes of an author the way I can a speaker. That said, I’ll trust a book over a blog, almost everytime.
8) As so much of communication is non-verbal, I expect you to place my words within the context of how you know me, if you do, and not within the context of how you expect to be spoken to.
9) Until we evolve to read minds, we can never truly ‘know’ what someone is trying to say – we can only really guess based on our interpretation of the situation. In confusing or upsetting situations, I now choose to select my reality from the perspectives of equality and laughter.
Please feel free to adopt these caveats in your own life if you wish. Too often our lives are regimented by assumptions, “facts” and opinions that are forced upon us. These caveats help me enjoy my life, connect with strangers, and create compassion for others and myself by believing that while our roads may be different, our paths are the same.