Wrote this early in the morning on January-1st but forgot to post it. Before you scream at me that I’m a filthy hypocrite, I would like to take this opportunity to openly concede that I do not live up to many of these (especially number-fifteen). Just think it’s a good philosophy for life.

(#1): Remember death, but also remember to live, as well.

(#2): Have the conviction to stand alone. At some point in your life, you will have to. Remember also that the right decision is not always the popular one.

(#3): Don’t feel superior or inferior to other people. There is always something that the next person can do better than you can, and something you can do better than they can.

(#4): Sometimes in life you cannot always be as nice and as pleasant as you would like to be to other people. Therefore, the saying should go: “If you can’t say anything CONSTRUCTIVE, don’t say anything at all.” Cynicism is to be avoided where possible.

(#5): Abstain from excessive alcoholism, drug consumption and gratuitously/ intentionally insulting someone-else’s family.

(#6): If you don’t have a cause or family that you are willing to defend or sacrifice yourself for, then life is not worth living.

(#7): Question most things, but not everything. There is such a thing as being too open-minded about things.

(#8): Respect is NOT the same as blind, unquestioning obedience — contrary to what some people may tell you.

(#9): Silence is indeed sometimes the best answer.

(#10): Acknowledge your mistakes and failures. No-one is perfect. You can, however, develop and improve from your shortcomings.

(#11): Accepting and confronting your fears is undoubtedly a courageous endeavour and obviously a prerequisite towards eventually overcoming them. Remember that everyone feels fear so there is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed by this.

(#12): Take individual people as they are, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, religion, age or other distinguishing characteristics. Treat them with sympathy and kindness when you interact with them. Assuming, of course, that this is reciprocated to a certain degree.

(#13): It’s polite to apologise if anyone informs you that something you have done has offended them.

(#14): Understand the rights, the freedoms and the boundaries of others.

(#15): Appreciate the value of other people and of human life generally. Everyone has dreams, hopes, and anxieties. So try not to regard someone as ‘useless’ or ‘hopeless’ or sub-human in that sense.

(#16): Correspondingly, try to respect animal life. Protect yourself and sanitise your surroundings where necessary, but try and perhaps think twice before swatting a defenceless spider with a rolled-up newspaper.

(#17): Try not to use complicated terminology or pleonasms when clearer speech will suffice.

(#18): There has to be a compromise between idealism and pragmatism. Without the former you cannot progress in life or aspire to be something greater. Without the latter you cannot make a realistic assessment of your situation.

(#19): Never capitulate to bullies by backing down. Do not allow such pugnacious individuals to gain a psychological advantage over you, by allowing them to feel that they have successfully intimidated you. This does NOT necessarily mean engaging them in physical confrontation.

(#20): Always maintain a sense of perspective. Never fall out with family or close friends over trivial differences in opinion.

(#21): Talking behind someone’s back isn’t always a bad thing, as long as you would have the honesty and the integrity to repeat it to their face.

(#22): Gallows-humour is a testament to human strength and fortitude. Laughter is the best medicine.

(#23): Always maintain a positive, optimistic attitude. Pessimism/fatalism is destructive and not very intelligent either.

(#24): Learning for the sake of learning is a good thing, whatever the subject matter. Information is precious. Expanding your knowledge is great.

(#25): Fear and remember God, in the good times, the bad times, and the ‘meh’ times.

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