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Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

Basically, I believe in treating other people with kindness and civility. I do that because I regard every person as a child of God and deserving of my kindness unless or until they prove otherwise. I’m slow to anger, but when it comes out, I try to temper it with reason. Every person has their own history and baggage which affects how they behave. No one reacts well to confrontation, and as soon as you start fighting (verbally), you’ve lost the battle.

I try to be open to other people’s ideas, and I have friends with whom I do not agree — on religion, politics, etc., but I still like them because they, too, have a core of caring. That doesn’t mean I’ll change my mind or agree just to make them happy — you can choose to disagree, and stop “ugly” conversations before they turn hurtful.

Sometimes my desire to think the best of people gets me in trouble. I’m slow sometimes to see when I’m being “taken for a ride”. As soon as I realize it, though, I’m done with that person; no one wants another to take advantage of their good will, and it happens. I’d rather err on the side of being too nice, than being suspicious of everyone I meet. Such an event happened recently, and it’s caused me sadness and disappointment, and a bit of anger, too; but justified anger, not shoe-throwing, screaming profanities anger.

I have found that life does have rules and things tend to go better when you follow them. Mine are the ten commandments, the golden rule, the beatitudes, and the twelve steps of AA. Those really cover all the bases, and if followed by all would make for a much happier more honest world.