You know, I'm always happy to take periodical breaks from writing, because my mind truly feels like a recharging battery. Instead of putting all my energy into thoughts that I spread out to the world, instead I bring new life and thoughts back into myself, by reading, spending time in nature, listening to good music, and talking with wonderful friends.
One of the topics on my mind recently has been lessons. School tries to teach formal lessons, with a specific skill in a subject area for the students to acquire, but the institution of school often fails to adequately instruct its pupils in the most important lessons: the lessons of life. Children often learn such basic principles as It's Important to Share with the Other Children, Don't Get Caught Daydreaming, Don't Make a Mess, and Ask Permission for Everything, but what about the lessons of How to Be a Good Person, or Why You Should Love Your Neighbor?
Churches or other religious institutions work on instilling these sorts of moral lessons for life in their attendees. People find guidance in books, music, great leaders, and many other areas. Yet each person takes the myriad of information presented to them in the world and shapes it to make their own set of rules to live by. In other words, each person has their own guidelines to life, or Life Lessons as I like to call them.
People come by these Life Lessons through personal experience, filtered by the lens of the rules taught or imposed upon them by family and society, and confirmed by outside sources such as history, science, or logic. A person may not even know that they follow some of their own Life Lessons if they've never thought about why they are doing/believing something. That is a dangerous place to be. I think it is important to know how and why we do or believe everything. If we don't know, then now is a good time to begin thinking about it. Life Lessons can certainly change over time, as our understanding matures, so it is always appropriate to explore our beliefs as we deepen our knowledge of the world around us.
This is not to say that I do not believe in absolute truth or the infallible Word of God that will stay true no matter how much I deviate from it. Being a flawed human, my free will allows me to follow what is Right or walk away from it, to a certain extent. But I never want to assume anything. It takes faith to have hope in God, yet this does not have to be blind faith.
So... Life Lessons. Since I wondered how many I have, I decided to write them down as I think of them. Often this week as I have been going about my daily schedule a situation will pop up and I'll think, "ah-ha, I am reacting this way/doing this/saying this because of THIS principle that my self believes in! And this is why I believe in it." This has been a good time to ponder the things I believe in, the Life Lessons that I have learned so far.
Here are the first five Life Lessons that I follow.
- God is there, and He is Good.
- Always ask, "why am I doing this?" If you don't know, then don't do it. Then think very hard about it to find the answer.
- Also ask yourself, "what can I learn from this (whatever it is), right now?"
- And also ask, "what can I do to make this world (wherever you are) a better place, right now?"
- Just because people, cultures, and technology change does not mean that there are not eternal truths.
What are your Life Lessons?