20 Really Good Ideas Whatever You Happen to Believe About God:
1. Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you.
2. In all things, strive to cause no harm.
3. Affirm the inherent and equal worth of every human being.
4. Treat your fellow human beings and all living things with love, compassion, honesty, kindness, and respect.
5. Build a world that works for everyone. Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
6. Live life with a sense of joy and wonder.
7. Always seek to be learning something new.
8. Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
9. Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you. Agree to disagree.
10. Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others. Give people the freedom to also think for themselves, and form their own views.
11. Do not blindly follow authority. Question everything.
12. Refuse the “us” and “them” mentality,” and consider yourself and all others as members of one human family.
13. Whatever your religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, views, or tradition, honor above all else the underlying and unifying values of love, compassion, and respect.
14. Affirm the goodness you see and experience in others.
15. Love yourself. Have compassion, and be kind to yourself. Find peace within yourself. Give yourself permission to be a fully and authentically self-expressed person, and an expression of that love, compassion, and peace.
16. Be mindful especially of those who are often overlooked, forgotten, and those who suffer in silence or languish in need. Be an advocate and friend to these.
17. Be aware of the world’s children, and the difficulties and challenges of making their way in this life. Whenever it is in your power, do what will encourage, empower, and protect a child, and let them know that they are beautiful and loved.
18. Do not become forgetful of those who are near their journey’s end. Honor your elders, love them, be with them, learn from them, care for them, and express gratitude for the lives they have lived.
19. Follow, honor, express, and share what you most deeply believe, but never allow this to become a source of pride, hatred, division, or the diminishment of other human beings.
20. Don’t just exist, live and live fully! Receive each day as a gift, be present in each moment.
– Jim Palmer
(Photo by Darla Winn)