I have written before about the need to remove the words "good" and "bad" from our language. What then do we replace those words with?I am working on expanding my list, but for now I like to use a any one of the following options: healthy vs. unhealthy, productive vs. unproductive, efficient vs. inefficient, helpful vs. not helpful, or wise vs. unwise.
Perhaps, you are wondering why this matters. After working in Mental Health for several years and spending an large amount of my time studying human behavior, I have determined this: Brené Brown nailed it when she identified shame as a key element in mental health. Unfortunately, shame is a huge component in religion. As a non-religious person myself, I am often asked how I can experience morality with no religious base. I took some time and thought through the "rule book" by which I live my life.
Here is what I came up with:
1) Kindness and Compassion Rule All.
If you have a choice in your actions, choose the action that is kind above all else. Do no harm.
2) My Body, My Rules
You don't touch me if I don't want to be touched. I don't touch you of you don't want to be touched.
Always get enthusiastic consent.
Be a master of your own boundaries. Recognize your own limitations.
3) All People Are Good People, Make Generous Assumptions
4) Follow The Platinum Rule:
Treat everyone as they wish to be treated.
5) Leave a Positive Footprint
Leave people, places, things, etc better than you found them
6) Have a Sense of Priority
#1 - Yourself
#2 - Your Partner (if you have one)
#3 - Your children (if you have them)
#4 - Those that you value most after yourself
#5 - Those who are in your circle of influence
#6 - Society as a whole (I recommend growing your circle geographically from here)
7) Give Everything You Do Your Very Best Effort, Be Satisfied with the Result, Then Strive for Improvement
8) Work on Maintaining a Strong Mind, Body and Sense of Your Own Emotions. Defend Those Weaker Than You
...But don't violate #6
9) Maintain a Sense of Accountability for Your Actions
10) Never Stop Learning. Be Open to New Facts. Try Everything.
11) Have Passion, Develop a Sense of Purpose, Let it Guide You.
12) Only Concern Yourself With Things You Can Control.
PRO TIP: You cannot control the actions of others.
13) Find Balance.