Ten Rules for Being Human

I feel like I’ve been walking under water this week and, as a result, I’ve been far from the best version of myself. With the events of the past few days in Paris and Beirut, and the resulting refugee backlash, it’s hard to feel like I have a right to be anything but grateful for all that I have. Which begs the question: how do you adjust to or accept the reality of the world we’re faced with without losing sight of yourself?

This is something I talk about quite a bit with a good friend of mine, as we both work at a homeless shelter and, as such, we are constantly meeting new people who are facing hardships we can only ever imagine. I hear stories everyday that both horrify and inspire me from people who are often fighting to have their most basic needs met. With that said,  it can be hard to reconcile how grateful I am for what I have, with how overwhelmed or sad I can feel with things in my own life. It’s this weird cyclical thing: sadness for the state of things beyond my control being fed by a self-centered feeling of being utterly ineffectual and compounded by a guilt that I’m not mary-freaking-sunshine ninety percent of the time. 

I know that I can’t be the only person in the world feeling this right now. I think we’re all reeling from recent events, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that our own lives stop or that our problems, big or small, simply dissipate. And I also know I can’t be the only one having a hard time reconciling my preoccupation with those events with the guilt of allowing myself to complain about a hard day at work or an argument with my husband, because, well, I’m human…

Ten Rules for Being Human
by Cherie Carter-Scott

  1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period
  2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.”
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”
  4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”
  7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tool and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
  9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions lie within you. All you have to do is look.
  10. You will forget all this.
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