Say it’s an extremely hot day, and you’re out in the sun and get a vision. Metaphorically, of course. You ponder what might be on the tablets you’d bring down from a mountain to share with the world, your own version of the ten commandments. Because, obviously, only about four of the so-called Biblical commandments have any value whatsoever in a rational world.
So make up your own, without overthinking. Any number will do—we needn’t continue using the ancient religious magic numbers 3, 7, and 10 (but 9 = 3 x 3, and was thus held by some to be magical too).
Here are my personal “9 SUGGESTIONS”:
1. Don’t kill any viable beings (unless a very wise committee—way more medically trained than a jury of your peers—agrees that the person is in irremediable pain, and he or she is ready to be done with life).
2. Don’t steal. Unless they stole it from someone else, and then get the law involved. Or work to change the laws if they favor stealing in any form.
3. Don’t mess around with someone else’s mate while your own prior commitments are still in effect.
4. Always be nurturing to young children and treat them the way you wish you’d been treated when young.
5. Act as though you’re part of a society and community, because you are. No one is entirely independent so we all have to chip in to ensure than no one lacks the basics, including a chance at a healthy future when you’re no longer around.
6. Live lightly. Making and getting rid of our excess stuff clogs up the world in so many ways, it’s kind of obscene to waste that many resources on ephemeral junk. Even if you earned the wherewithal fair and square.
7. Live as though there’s no tomorrow, meaning that there’s no heaven or hell beyond this life, so appreciate every possible moment.
8. Be kind, even though there’s no such thing as karma. True niceness requires no direct payback, but it feels good to give it and also to receive it.
9. Be honest. Don’t lie to yourself either, which can mean admitting to yourself that you’re making a bad choice.
Those are my suggestions/commandments. They won’t create a utopia, but they won’t hurt either. What are yours?