The 9 Commandments

10 CommandmentsSay 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?

Copyright (c) 2014 by Susan K. Perry, author of Kylie’s Heel

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9 Responses to The 9 Commandments

  1. Susan says:

    Oh, Susan!
    Obeying #9 I have to say that you’re so right it hurts.

  2. Pingback: Reaching, Each Moment Possible | BloggingBrights

  3. Dean White says:

    The intention of # 6 is good, but the wording is bad. “Making and getting rid of our excess stuff clogs up the world…” needs rephrasing, I think.

    • I suppose I could have said it a number of better ways, but I think you get the message anyway. It’s the making of and the getting rid of so much stuff we don’t really need that’s problematic.

  4. Christoffel says:

    As a septuagenarian with a Christian upbringing turned atheist in my late teens, I have long ago formulated my own Five Commandments which I try to live up to (with varying degrees of success):

    1. Love – for yourself, your fellow human beings, all forms of life and nature, the entire universe.
    2. Do unto others ONLY that which you would have them do to you.
    3. Make up your own mind, take your own decisions, and bear the consequences.
    4. Don’t believe everything you are told; always think, reason, investigate.
    5. This is the only life you’ll ever have – make the best of it.

    Did I leave out something important?

    • Excellent and succinct list. Killing and stealing are absent, but of course your #2, a form of the ancient many-cultured Golden Rule covers those as well.

  5. George Price says:

    My Ten Commandments:
    1. Honor, defend and be faithful to your loved ones.
    2. Trust yourself and learn from your mistakes.
    3. Live your life respecting the rights of others as long as they do not harm or infringe upon the rights and property of yourself, your family or others.
    4. Treat others with dignity and respect and insist that they treat you, your family and others with the same dignity and respect.
    5. Do not allow those who lie, cheat or steal to go unpunished.
    6. Defend yourself, your loved ones, your property, your rights and the life, property and rights of others.
    7. Take responsibility for your actions and hold others responsible for their actions.
    8. Search for truth, understanding, and knowledge and always accept, reject or keep ideas based on sound reason and logic, your understanding of the facts, your personal experience, and your own ethics and conscience and not in the traditions, practices, superstitions or supposed authority of any religion, book or man.
    9. Be a good steward of the earths resources; use them wisely.
    10. Love your life and find inspiration, beauty, understanding and knowledge in the natural order, chaos and complexity of the earth and the universe, the arts and sciences, and the examples set by good people.
    What I Would Teach My Children Now:
    1. Your obligation in life consists of being happy and honest, doing justice, showing mercy and leaving this world a better place than it was before you got here.
    You were not alive for 13.8 billion years before you were born so fight to stay alive, but do not fear what comes after death, you have been there before. Know that a good person has little to fear in life and nothing to fear in death.
    2. Honor, respect, distinction, trust and forgiveness are earned, so follow the good examples you see set by others and do your best to set a good example for others to follow.
    3. Learn what the words “life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness” meant to America’s founding fathers and then take the necessary action to protect your rights and the rights of others.
    4. Know that the government and the law must treat all men and women equally. Act to insure that this is always the case.
    5. Know that the government, the law and public education must be totally separate and apart from all symbols, forms, beliefs, customs, obligations and practices of religion.
    6. Question everything and accept, reject or keep ideas using your own reason and logic, your best understanding of the facts, your personal experience, and your own moral philosophy. Know that nothing is true just because someone else believes it, some wise man said it, or it is written in an ancient book.
    For something to be true, it must be consistent with the laws of nature.
    7. Know that you have little to fear in life and nothing to fear in death.
    Find out for yourself and then act, remember, teach or enjoy.

    • Another excellent set of rules to live by. I myself wouldn’t emphasize, as you have, that others respect and honor me or mine as I do them (your first #4). I only question such a rule as those are nebulous values that have often been misused to justify nasty behavior (“I’ll SHOW them they can’t talk about me that way!” After all, honor and revenge killings in certain countries are usually justified by the idea that someone has dishonored the family. I’m not sure anyone can really do that.

  6. Nigel says:

    1. Do NO harm-to-others. Do NOT do unto others or their property what you would NOT want them to do to you or your property.
    2. Do NOT make idle or false promises or break promises sincerely made.
    3. Do not bear false witness.
    4. Be considerate to others and do NOT demand, expect or stretch the the tolerance of others.
    5. Take out third party compensation/restitution insurance in case you unintentionally cause harm to others or their property by oversight, unexpected circumstance or accident. Do not undertake what you cannot so insure.
    6. Always try to create, produce and/or contribute at least as much as – if not more than – you consume.
    7. Live and let live provided no-harm-to others takes place.
    8. Do not tolerate others harming you or others.

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