Day before yesterday in my inbox was an email from a life coach who teaches people core values. A thought ran through my head — shouldn’t we have learned them from our parents? And if not, doesn’t every human have the ability to think for themselves and draw up a list of standards that is right for them. But then I reflected on my own disappointments where I have been let down simply because people commit to things unconsciously.  Something in me wants to scream- have you no sense of truth? Why not honor a promise?  But then I tell myself I only can be responsible for myself. So I say this.

Turn your radio down.  That’s right, the one that plays in your head. It’s a personality you created to deal with the game of life. It’s not your true essence.

Pay attention. Pay attention to this life. The imperceptible, quiet battles being fought in our minds, every day, and the unwritten code of conduct in this game we have to play.

Do not complain about political rhetoric. Do not believe that your emptiness has to be fulfilled; sometimes anger is a better friend than none.

Be sincere.  Say what you mean and do as you say. Words don’t vanish into thin air. We create our reality and (I believe) incur karmic debt in this life or a future one by the use and misuse of our words and actions.

Be humble. No one has any idea or the right to know what lies in someone else’s heart.

Practice patience with others. Be gentle with those whose minds do not move at the same speed. And if you must apprehend someone, regardless of age (yes, children count!) do it privately.

I see many people with worn out eyes staring blankly. There are preludes to every instance, stories behind every face. You are just one of an infinity crisscrossing. Tread lightly on others.

We are judged by the laws that govern our societies, and spiritually measured by the principles we adopt. All of us are flawed, but most of us are doing our best. Place value in that last ounce of freedom and what you choose to do with it.

Respect every profession, and the dignity of every person you cross. That object or piece of food you throw on the ground, someone will have to pick up.

Keep a ready ear, one that truly listens. Life is littered with people crying on the inside. Be compassionate.

Do not waste time, food, or money. Be generous with all three. Enjoy them while you have them, and if and when you do not, enjoy not having them. Everyone can tithe. Happiness is a choice.

This code is not a rule book, a list of suggestions at most. Derived from my observations as I chose to pay attention to my rules of this life and play it with dignity.

If I missed anything you feel is important, please share it with me. As the television character Frazier said on his show, “I’m listening.”



  1. Thanks Gretchen that’s what I was hoping for, not preachy. So much in today’s world takes on a tone of nasty and mean-spirited. I hope not to offend but to offer alternatives to thought and ultimately to actions.

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