My New 10 Commandments (well, 14, actually…)

<July 10/09>

1. Inasmuch as possible, do your best not to ADD to the world’s pain.(1) 2. Do your very, very best never to USE people. 3. Do your best not to indulge in idle gossip & speculation. 4. Strive to always be the “Big You,” not the “little you.” 5. Eat organic. 6. Wash feet before bed (this one is easy). Teeth too, if at all possible. (This is harder, especially if one has chosen to consume a chocolate bar in bed.) 7. Learn to stop going down “bad roads.” (Infinitely, infinitely more challenging…) 8. Do your best never to be the slightest bit smug or self-satisfied; to feel superior at all, or somehow outside that roller coaster-y soap opera Life so often seems to consist of. We all have our role in the soap opera… 9. Say “Whatever!” a lot. (It really helps. So does “It is what it is.”) 10. Do lots of yoga and meditation; this is very, very good for us. (And when I finally start following my own good advice, I’ll find out for sure. Meanwhile, DO read Buddhist writers – & other writers who are honest, & funny, & compassionate, & self-deprecating & wise – because Buddhist ideals are really, really, really wonderful & useful, & habits of non-judgment & compassion will really take the human race (or even just me) a very long way – & besides, life doesn’t get any better than reading books by writers who make us laugh…& think…& who help us feel less alone, less broken.)

Note: I will probably find another one or two & eventually end up with at least a “baker’s dozen” of useful “commandments.” Watch for it!

And btw too, I’ll be sure to send up a flare when I finally run across someone who is perfect…okay?

Ah. Here we go…

11. Say THANK YOU as often as you possibly can. Be grateful (gratitude is magical). Kurt Vonnegut said in one of his final books that we should try to say, as often as possible, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is!” 12. Whenever humanly possible, accept invitations from friends to walk/have coffee/lunch/supper/spend time at their cottage. Friends & family times are the very BEST times!! 13. Whenever humanly possible, hang laundry outside in the wind & sun. It’s pleasurable to hang it, enjoyable to watch it blowing on the line & awesome to smell when you take the clothes off the line later & fold them. Ahhhhhhh. Life’s simple pleasures… 14. Don’t forget to breathe


(1) Especially the pain of children. Could we PLEASE all stop being un-mindful of the innocent & wondrous & terribly vulnerable nature of children?? Our own, & everyone else’s? And do our very, very best to treat them well? All of them??

Julie Johnston of GreenHeart Education also feels very passionate about looking after children. Please check out her blog - her Compassionate Climate Action blog. She has some great stuff there about why climate change - & children - should be motivating us ALL to do a whole lot more. It's here...