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Rules, rules, rules

18 Jan 12 | Re: How to live

Some while ago, I posted a little piece about the Scout Law. I said that, except for one questionable point, they aren’t a bad set of rules to live by. So well done Baden Powell, and well done Baden Powell’s well-prepared followers.

It does seem helpful to have a set of rules like this. Nobody has time to work out what to do in every situation from first principles; we all need to simplify the process of living and saying and acting down to some general rules that will make sure we don’t go far wrong, while avoiding spending minutes in slack-jawed cogitation whenever a new circumstance is presented. People have realised this for thousands of years, too. Long before the scouting movement, Moses had come up with his famous Ten Commandments and Jesus had given us His two (love neighbours, love God). I’m sure there have been many more since.

However, while none are without value, some of the above-mentioned do seem a touch vague, or out of date, or incomplete from the modern-day perspective. Therefore, I have had a think and come up with my own set that I think fills in the gaps. I have reduced all that is required for modern living down to six rules, so not quite as many as RBP and significantly fewer than Moses, but three times as many as Jesus, twice Isaac Asimov and six times as many as Danny Wallace.

Are you ready, my disciples?

Of course you are. Without further ado, here is James’s Hexalogue:

  1. Never say (or even think) “I can’t be bothered.”
  2. If you say you’re going to do something, you have to do it, however daft or inconvenient.
  3. Don’t spend loads of time and effort thinking about your own identity.
  4. Always have an answer to the question “What are you reading at the moment?” (The vast majority of the time, this should be the name of a book.)
  5. Never refuse to make a speech when asked.
  6. When owning up to having eaten something, always say, “It was delicious.”

Much like Jesus and Baden Powell (though unlike Moses), I’m not necessarily putting these out there with the immediate intention of forming an organised movement. I’m just spreading my ideas here, and if other people agree and they want to go along with them, then so much the better. If those people then want to form groups, the better to observe my teachings and spread the message, then so much the better. If, in due course, they then want to start venerating me as some kind of prophet or god-like being, then that’s fine as well. But for the time being, all I’m saying is, don’t say you can’t be bothered (and five other things). Be bothered! Be bothered, and it will be the better for you.

Posted by SOPHIA PRIMROSE at 22:12

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