Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline

Words by Which to Live

Many people like to make up lists of "life lessons," so I thought I'd jump on that bandwagon. Right now my list is pretty short, but it's a beginning.

1. Don't discriminate. Just don't do it. There are people in the world who will tell you that discrimination is sometimes a good thing. Yeah, if you're choosing a wine to go with dinner. Otherwise it's unacceptable. Not only unacceptable, but stupid, because when the tide turns and the oppressor becomes the oppressed, studies show that the formerly oppressed will treat the former oppressors just as bad as or worse than they were treated.

2. Never hesitate to ask for help when you need it. This is a good guideline in general, but I thought of it particularly in regard to mental and emotional health. It is not easy to ask someone for help with your deepest and most personal problems; particularly if that person is a stranger, which leads directly into the next guideline:

3. Make friends with a trained counselor. They make great friends because they really listen. And if you ever do need formal counseling, they can better anticipate your needs to get you the best treatment available.

4. Embrace heterodoxy. First, let me explain what I mean by heterodoxy. The dictionary defines it simply as a belief system that differs from a standard system (there's a lot of connotation that goes along with that, but we'll leave that be for now). I think of it as taking the bits of each belief system that make the most sense, (discarding the bits that make little sense), and putting them together to make a new belief system. (Incidentally, if someone can think of a word that better represents this concept, please tell me).

5. Unless you have something clever to say, do not make "words to live by" lists. They will turn out trite and cliché. Believe me, I know.
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