What are the rules that are essential for your life? Knowing which rules you'll never break makes it easier to know who you truly are, especially during those moments when you find yourself in doubt. Believe in yourself. Believe in the rules you follow that keep your moral compass true.
We are all bound by rules. They start at the youngest of ages when we're told not to talk with strangers. The list gets longer as we grow older. Soon, we're told that it's polite to hold the door open for others and to drive the speed limit, to be good to our elders and so on.
Some rules are more important than others, but all rules have a purpose. Some keep us safe. Some keep others safe. Some rules protect us from ourselves. Rules are the guidelines that are necessary for society to succeed. Without rules, there is chaos.
Think about the rules that we follow every day. We wear clothes based on temperature, but also based on dress code. We go to school or work at a certain time so we don't get in trouble for being late. We exchange money for items we want to buy and when we're tired, we know we should go to bed.
What would happen if these rules weren't in our lives? If those rules didn't exist, the world would fall apart. Rules in our lives have a purpose.
One rule says to tell the truth, another says not to hurt people with painful words. Even if we tell the truth, there is an unspoken rule that tells us to be as kind as possible toward a person who may be hurt by our words.
That brings us to the question of whether two different rules can exist without violating the other? Can you tell the truth, even about something difficult, without hurting a person? You can because of another one of our society's guiding rules that comes straight from Matthew 7:12: "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you." Some know this as the Golden Rule.
Think of all this the next time you're faced with a choice and must decide which of life's many rules you should follow. What are the rules that are essential for your life?
Knowing which rules you'll never break makes it easier to know who you truly are, especially during those moments when you find yourself in doubt.
Believe in yourself. Believe in the rules you follow that keep your moral compass true. But always keep in mind that the one rule that surpasses them all is the one that calls for kindness toward others.
ERICK ROMMEL IS A COLUMNIST WITH THE CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE.
Erick Rommel is a columnist with the Catholic News Service.
Recent articles in the Culture & Events section
The runway to self-sufficiencyDebbie Rambo
Opioids, pain management, and addiction: Balancing ethical dutiesFather Tadeusz Pacholczyk
Being Dave DombrowskiDick Flavin
Maintenance vs. missionGeorge Weigel
Praying with childrenJohn Garvey