When Life Presents A Problem, Use These 3 Rules To Find An Answer

I gave you these three rules when you were small, but I’m not sure if you understood them. So, for your reflection, here they are written…

Us waiting to board the ferry to Hollyhead 2017

I gave you these three rules when you were small, but I’m not sure if you understood them. So, for your reflection, here they are written down.

Success, happiness and so on, are illusions of a mind that cannot bear to live in the present. They are fleeting. They barely exist long enough to grasp. In fact, the more you try to grasp at them the further ahead they seem. I have little useful to offer you or your brother or your sister in this regard other than the reassurance that, just like me, you will fuck it up. Sometimes wholesale.

And that needs to be ok. Because, in the absence of your acceptance of conditions good or bad, you have only self-criticism. And that will always work against you no matter how justified you feel it is.

Others may try to berate you for your choices. That will make deciding through your own volition most challenging. Sometimes those others are the ones closest to you. In either case, you must graciously present the middle finger and move on. That gracious presentation, however, needs on occasion to be figuratively delivered, sometimes not. But you must be prepared to present it nonetheless.

Remember the three rules for life. These rules are not hierarchical; they are interrelated, intertwined, overlapping and mutually inclusive. When considering a life problem, consider these three rules collectively. If the stool’s legs are not equal length, it will fall over and you will end up on the floor.

Make sure you find balance.

Rule 1: Break The Rules

If you blindly follow the rules of others you are little more than an automaton. You are someone designed, scripted and poised for manipulation by others who are either bureaucrats or their overseers. Don’t be a sheep. Be prepared to break the rules, even this one, where needs require it.

However, there is a caveat — there always is. You must be prepared to suffer the consequences of your decisions even if those consequences are not clear in advance. They rarely are, so you’ve got to be brave in the face of lack of information. Follow your gut. Do what you inherently feel is right.

Rule 2: Don’t Get Caught

The fuckers who make the rules of the system will execute its bureaucracy with impunity. They will remove themselves outright from the seat of their humanity to do their job, and that means you are expendable, as are all human beings. So, by all means, break the rules if you see fit, but…Don’t. Get. Caught.

If you do get caught, in the most extreme circumstances, they will sacrifice you. Even your own blood, in the absence of your conformity to the collective norm, will consider it. When the stakes are perceived to be high, when a person’s sense of self is under threat, you will be amazed and shocked at what they will do for self-preservation. Equally, you will be surprised at what family will do to preserve one another. Work with others, but don’t become overly reliant. Be prepared to stand in support of that in which you believe, but choose your battles wisely. Be prepared to lose.

Rule 3: Respect All Life

Above all other perceived personal values, hold fast to your sense of humanity. Don’t sacrifice this for material gain or personal advantage. For if you do, you join the ranks of mindless automatons, bureaucrats and their overseers. The pressure to conform, to be obedient to authority will be intense, but you must overcome it. Seek solitude, get quiet, and listen to the small voice.

Because when all is lost, and no doubt there will be days when you feel it is, you have nothing left of yourself should you give up your sense of humanity. It is your felt connection with that which animates human beings and other living things that sets you apart from the machine and machine minds. It is the thing that animates us all. It is what some people have called God. You can call it whatever you want. Names don’t matter, feelings matter. Listen to how you feel.

So there you have it, the answer to all your problems. Perhaps.

Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. Every morning you’ll find me sharing a new thought on life, art, work, creativity, the self and the nature of reality on The Reflectionist. I also write on The Creative Mind. If you like what I’m creating, join my email list to receive the weekly Sunday Letters

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