In the course of making your way through life there are certain rules that should be followed to make it through with those who are around you. There are certainly more than just three things, but the three that I have pulled out seem to be the most productive in life and relationships. Unfortunately they also seem the most difficult to achieve.
1. RESPECT OTHERS IN ORDER TO GET RESPECTED: There is nothing harder to do than to respect than to show respect to someone that shows no respect for anything or anybody. Most of us consider ourselves to be pretty good people. We know ourselves and our thinking better than anyone else and we understand why we think or do the things that we do. We are a lot more forgiving looking to the inside of ourselves than looking to the outside of others. Respect from others is something that needs to be learned by them, so it is up to each of us to do what is best to earn that respect. The thought process that has settled in my mind as I enter my time of getting old is that the best way to get the respect that each of us know without question that we deserve, is to show respect for others.
Treating people with respect is not dependent upon seniority. It shouldn't matter how old another individual is to show them respect. Of course, it is a lot easier to show respect to people that are older than you and of the generation before you because they have already been through what you are trying to navigate your own self through and they made it. Respect goes both ways though. As I was growing up and entered my teens becoming a not too important leader in the church youth group, I found it extremely useful to talk to and listen to those kids that were younger than me. For one thing, it won't be long until the age gap between you doesn't seem that big and you will find yourself more or less on the same level. I remember what it was like to be a young teen and be ignored by the older ones who didn't have time for my age group. You want to look up to them, you are searching for a role model to help form your personality, and all you feel is irritation at them as well as from them. I didn't look up to the kids my sisters age and up.
The solution for this, I found, was to treat younger kids as though they are the same age and maturity. This doesn't always work out because a lot of times their immaturity gets them in trouble, but for the most part they instinctively come to like you. You listen to them and find out that they have some pretty good ideas. They might even be more willing to help you with a job or chore if they respect you and they will definite be more likely to listen to you if they have a problem and come to you for advice. As a matter of fact, they will be more likely to come to you for advice if they respect you.
Little kids are the most important to respect. Yes they can be brats at times and yes they can be difficult to handle. If you treat these kids the way you would want to be treated though, they will respect you. They will be far more likely to follow the rules under you than someone who doesn't talk to them like a normal person, or listen to them as you would a normal person, or let them know that to you, they are all right. I have a found that when I have dealt with nieces and nephews as well as their children, they will approach you and trust you much easier than if you looked down on them and didn't show them the respect they needed while growing up into adults.
Respect others and the respect that you will get back most of the times will be very rewarding. The one important part of respecting others, is that it has to be a genuine respect. That is where it gets difficult.
2. IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE, MAKE IT RIGHT: We all make mistakes Mistakes can come in several different parts of life. It could be making a mistake trying to help somebody with a project that ruins what was trying to be accomplished or it could be a mistake by just saying the wrong thing to someone that ends up getting hurt by your mistake. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can cost you friends and family.
There is nothing worse than being hurt by something that was said and no recognition of the fact that it might have been an improper thing to say. The hurt sits in your belly, festering, slowly turning to irritation, then to anger, until it is an outright grudge that will not be easily fixed for a long time. I say things at times that I so wish I hadn't said to people. Once it is out though, there is no taking it back. The only way to handle a situation where you have messed up by saying or doing something to somebody is to apologize for the act as soon as possible. Sometimes you know you messed up the second it happens. Cut it off with an apology. Don't let the hurt grow. It has to be a sincere apology though. A lot of people can go through the actions of an apology, but if it isn't sincere, the party that is being apologized to can see right through it. Of course it goes the other way as well. If someone has hurt you and they sincerely apologize, accept it and move on. What's done is done, they know it was a mistake and they have done everything they can to right it.
On the other hand, if someone hurts you and doesn't apologize go ahead and let it go as if they had. I am REALLY bad about this. I can hold a grudge for years, but it doesn't do any good. If anything holding a grudge just makes things worse the longer it goes on. Like I said though, I am a prime example of a grudge holder. Most of the time holding a grudge is a larger mistake then the event that occurred to bring the grudge about.
Whatever the mistake is, it is extremely important to do your best to correct it no matter which side of the mistake you are on.
3. DON'T COMPROMISE YOUR PHILOSOPHY: Each of us are raised with a set of morals and beliefs by our parents. Most often this philosophy that you start your life out with mirror those of your parents. Sometimes the set of beliefs that you are raised with are not a very good set. Sometimes they are a very good set of beliefs. When you are young and do not even know that the word philosophy exists, these are the beliefs you live by. As you grow older though, you begin to hear about other beliefs systems and philosophies. This is where it gets tricky. To live life the way you feel life should be lived, you need to live your life by your own philosophy. The important thing is to remain open minded when you hear of other ideas on how to live and to really listen to what these other ideas are while still holding on to the set of beliefs that you grew up with because those first belief systems are the only ones that you know do work to a degree for you.
However, you may hear a new philosophy, a new religious or spiritual view, a new political view that goes against most of what you had been living with in your whole life until this point. To be true to yourself does not necessarily mean that you hold onto what your parents gave you, but to listen and if a different idea makes more sense to you than how you were raised, to give it serious thought and if it becomes clear to you that it is a better way for you to live your life by, then take the new idea and implement it into your personal philosophy. It then becomes a part of you and you are a little more true to yourself then you were before when you were being true to your parents philosophy.
We all have an individual brain. We all see things differently. The exact same rules for life are not exactly the same for everybody. It is part of growing up and maturing to find your way of thinking and believing, a system that works for you as an individual and then you come to have a set of rules that you can be true to yourself with.
It is okay to change your thinking but don't compromise your beliefs to fit in to society, or make someone else see you in a way that they can accept you easier. The only time you change your thinking is after hearing a different option, weighing it seriously against what you already believe and then if you feel one way is better then the other, then change your thinking for yourself, and hold onto it. Do not change your philosophy or compromise it because it is popular, or easier, or allows you access to places or things that your own thinking would not give you access to.
There are an infinite number of lessons to be learned as we travel through life and each of them must be learned by each individual in your own time and at your own pace. Everyone will come away from all these lessons with a different set of beliefs that they lead each of us to. I just pulled out three lessons in life that I have been interested in as of late. The world is constantly changing in the way people think and the way people live and so we are always learning some of these lessons over and over again. Sometimes it is easy to hear something that sounds very good when in fact, it doesn't fit into your belief system at all.
Three lessons out of an infinite number of lessons that we are constantly learning. We must be aware and careful when the lessons take us in a different direction than we are comfortable with. Be true to yourself and your own beliefs as you go through life and perhaps maybe, just maybe, you might find some peace and ease of mind as you go through life.