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THE RULES FOR CHILDREN

   
      RULE 1
    PLAY ONE FIRST!
   (BE YOURSELF)
       
This is difficult for young people. You are learning so much from everyone and everything. BE SELFISH (this is more difficult than you may realize) and BE HONEST (this will take some time). You are the only REAL YOU. There is only one of you. Remember to play all of the cards of life's game and to play them in order: 1. SELF, 2. FAMILY, 3. SCHOOL, 4. FRIENDS. If the cards are played out of order you are losing the game. If you are losing, those around you are also losing, and the world is losing.
  
* As a young person Playing One can be somewhat natural, you just do your own thing. Hopefully this is done with the loving assistance of parents, if you have them, or other adults and friends. Grownups can show children bits and pieces of the world. Adolescents can have problems with Rule 1 for two reasons: 1.You want to be accepted by your peers, which may not be such a good idea - at least in some cases. Judging others, however, is a very important thing to learn to do. Following the RULES of the GAME OF LIFE can help you learn to do this very well. 2. You have had sufficient time to get to know your parents and other adults. You now know that they do not know everything and you think you know that they don't understand you. You'e got the first part right, they don't know everything, however, you are usually wrong about the second part; they do know something about you. Parents were all young once and it is an experience they are unlikely to forget. They will compare though, your life to theirs. Yes, we know, yours isn't exactly the same as theirs. "Growing up" though is pretty much the same for everyone. There are choices to be made and a self to define. This is what the RULES of the GAME OF LIFE will help you to do, choose your-self and continue to define your self as you play the game.
 
RULE 2
    (BE QUIET!)
    STAND STILL IN SILENCE!
     
This allows you to see, feel and be your REAL SELF. Beware of the MONSTERS (the ROCKS) of life. If you are afraid, the fear is yours. If you are angry, the anger is yours. If you are guilty, the guilt is yours. If you are lying, the lies are all yours. Any and all of these MONSTERS (ROCKS) - all gifts of your past - FEAR, ANGER, GUILT and FALSE PRIDE are all yours now. Release yourself from these burdens. Choose not to see the world through these dark glasses.
       
* Standing still in silence is also difficult for young people to do. They must be taught to do this. If your parents didn't know or don't know how to BE QUIET - STANDING STILL IN SILENCE, you learned to cope with reality the only way they knew how to cope. Learning to play THE GAME OF LIFE is the beginning of that sorting out process - what is right and what is wrong and what it is that you think you know. This process can start with a feeling, a feeling that says, “Something is wrong here, there is something here that I don't like.” When this feeling or thought comes you usually are right - something usually is wrong. It may take a long time to sort out just what it is, but you can usually start with this fact: IT, WHATEVER "IT" IS, MIGHT NOT BE YOURS! The TRUTH has a way of just presenting itself and you don't carry on a dialog about it. It just is and you know it. Yes, there are times when you have difficulty understanding how you fit with the TRUTH, but you at least know what it is because it just is. The FEAR, ANGER, GUILT, AND FALSE PRIDE (the MONSTERS (ROCKS) of life) are usually taught to us by parents.
There is some natural fear when you are small because the world is so big and there are things that you don't understand. Most of the things you don't understand, however, won't hurt you. The night never did bite anyone. If you live in a home where reality flows according to its own laws, fear is something that you can sort out quickly. If, however, you are taught to fear, to be angry, to be guilty, or to have a false pride and lie, the smoke from your dragons or the powder from your rocks will darken your glasses and you will see the world as a problematic place. The TRUTH is, however, that the world is not as problematic as some parents, or others make it out to be. They usually have someone else's history mixed up with their own and they haven't sorted their own out yet. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WAIT FOR THEM TO SORT OUT THEIR LIFE! Sorting out the TRUTH is something you can start to do right now all by yourself!
  
RULE 3
    TRUE, NOT TRUE!
    MINE, NOT MINE!
      
All things are what they are and they are either TRUE OR NOT TRUE - YOURS OR NOT YOURS. This is very important. Only when you concentrate your energies on your own reality can you come with your self to the world.
       
* This you can be very good at, very fast. You know quite easily, for the most part, that things are true or not true. And yes, all children hear stories that have some parts they may not understand. The world really is a big place and we can't see all of its parts when we are young, or old for that matter. Some of this doesn't matter if you ever understand it. Some things, on the other hand, are important. Learn the importance of studying and reading. You can read and study anything! And you can do these things all by your-self. There are things about the world that maybe only you can understand and you can then help the world to understand.   
There can be a part of this TRUE, NOT TRUE! MINE, NOT MINE! that is difficult for some to understand. When your parents and others accuse you of something that you didn't do - remember the TRUTH is either you did it or you didn't. Don't let the force of their accusations convince you that something is wrong with you when it isn't. It, whatever it is, might not be yours. Remember, though, if it is yours, then it is yours. Own it! Someone may blame you or even punish you for something that you did not do, but remember, you and it can be different. Even if you broke something, chances are that it didn't happen on purpose - so don't take it into your-self and get confused about the TRUTH and yourself. Develop a very special relationship to the TRUTH. This relationship will help you throughout your entire life. And yes, we know when things are difficult at home - if you are being hurt in some way - it is difficult to think about your entire life or the long run. The TRUTH is, however, life has a way of moving along and we can help things move along (ourselves most of all). If there is something happening you don't understand or like - talk to someone you trust about it. You do not have to be hurt or blamed for what may seem like everything. You can stop whatever it is when you choose to own the TRUTH.
As we get older we can have an increasing measure of freedom - freedom to choose to be whatever we want to be and certain parts of our history won't matter. Knowing the TRUTH will help you sort out yourself from your parents' selves and their problems from yours. This will keep you from making their mistakes - again. The world will give you opportunities to make mistakes of your own.

RULE 4
OWN IT NOW!
      
The new gesture of our times - our fist clenched and held towards our body and pulled sharply down as we say, "Yes!" We see this so often at sporting events - those other games of our times. This is done when something right has been accomplished by either ourselves or someone else. Adopt this swift and definitive action - OWN it NOW! Whatever the TRUTH might be, do it NOW!
      
*This may be difficult - there are some things that all people must wait to do. Driving a car for example, or living alone. For the most part, however, you can own things RIGHT NOW. The TRUTH is something that you can own just as soon as you know what it is. The TRUTH really is the most important thing to own. The other things that you want to do in your life will happen. Be patient and remember that the world is yours and you can eventually try to do whatever you want to do. Owning the TRUTH RIGHT NOW has some ethical implications. This means there is some need and reason to own the truth just as soon as you know it. Someone might be hurt or hurting more than you know (there are many kinds of pain), or someone may be in some danger that you don't understand. Sometimes a life (including your own) may depend upon this ownership of truth. Own the TRUTH and share it just as soon as you know it.

RULE 5
ACT IN LOVE!
      
KNOWLEDGE, CARE, RESPONSIBILITY AND RESPECT will be your key watchwords. You must develop an ACTIVE CONCERN FOR LIFE AND GROWTH in all of your waking moments. It is only when you love others that you know that it is possible to love yourself. In fact you cannot have a love for self wihout a love for others. There is a reciprocity in our nature that say yes to both truths in order to have either truth. Compassion must be the fire that lights your way into the world.
      
*Learning to love is the most difficult thing you will ever do. It is not something that is easy because it requires certain circumstances to exist before there can be love. Remember the four words: KNOWLEDGE, CARE, RESPONSIBILITY, and RESPECT. Love is not pretending; love is real. Love is something that you can know, feel, have, and share. Love is beautiful and powerful. LOVE demands that you know YOURSELF and LOVE YOURSELF. Love demands the TRUTH all of the time. Love also demands that you know the person you love very, very well. It takes time to get to know someone. Take the time and share the TRUTH of who you really are with the person you choose to love, and remember that the choice to love you is their choice. You cannot force anyone to love you - no matter what you do, they can choose not to love you. If someone chooses not to love you it doesn't mean that you are not lovable, nor does it mean that you will never find someone to love. The TRUTH is that you are lovable and you will find someone to love you. Be patient, be honest, believe in the beauty of love. Love is free. This is why it is such a wonderful thing to do. (Notice I did not say "have" - love is something we do!) It is also a choice you can make about yourself and a choice two people can make at the same time and in the same space - to be completely honest about everything with each other. Love takes practice and you must be honest in your practice. This is not something you can play at, although loving play is essential to all relationships. Love is only something that can be done with dedication and wholehearted commitment. This is another reason why there is a tremendous difference between having sex and making love. Sex is a physical act whereas making love involves an essential attribute of the entire spectrum of the human person's reason for being.
  
RULE 6
    DEDICATE YOURSELF TO GROWTH!
      
You must become ("be" a person who "comes" into life) dedicated to putting on your personhood. This is the only way you can be open and free. The four colors of your hood can only maintain their brilliance if there is growth in your INTELLECT, your EMOTIONS, your BODY, and your SPIRIT. Remember, you will NEVER KNOW IT ALL - and it doesn't matter. You must, however, continue to fill your cup of self (chalice or goblet) and share it with the world.
      
*You must want to change. This is not too hard for most young people - most wish they were older, bigger, or more experienced. What this means, however, is that you must want to become who you really are. This is tough for young people because you have to own your minds, your emotions, your bodies, and your spiritual commitments. You cannot lie by doing "no-thing" because you are "some-thing". The Truth is that you are you and you have to get busy being YOU right now! If you are smart, you will use your mind to help it grow. If you are emotionally upset get set right - with help. There are some people who will be able to help you sort things out. Life is not a new event, even though it does happen to each and every one of us only once in this particular way and for the first time. Be interested in all life so that you can feel at home with yourself wherever you are. Take care of your bodies, be gentle with it; you will be using it for a long, long time. Feed and exercise it well so that you can own it and enjoy it. Be curious about the GOD thing. There is so much more to the world than meets the eye. Spiritual serenity can empower you in new and wonderful ways. Wonder about things, then follow and own your wonder.
  
  RULE 7.
      FOLLOW ALL OF THE OTHER RULES!
      
In science when a proof is right (true) it is called elegant because it is so simple, so refined, and it fits into the GRAND DESIGN OF THINGS. This is your quest. This is your star. A HOLY ENDEAVOR IS ABOUT TO BEGIN - THE REAL YOU!
     
*Obviously there is a reason for the rules and for the order in which they must be followed. I know - rules are something that young people say they don't like. But you know and I know that rules make life simple because you know where you stand and you are free to get on with the things you need and want to do with your life.

* If you PLAY ONE first you will develop into who and what YOU REALLY ARE. This you will not be able to "do" unless you are QUIET - STANDING STILL IN SILENCE. This will allow you to see who and what you really are and who and what other things really are. If you move too fast your vision gets blurred and you can't be sure who you are or what anything else is. You get confused and run into trouble, sometimes with yourself, many times with others. When you are QUIET - STANDING STILL IN SILENCE, taking everything into consideration - you will be able to decide what is TRUE/NOT TRUE or YOURS/NOT YOURS. This is one of the most valuable things you can learn. It will save you a lot of anguish and pain. Don't touch things if they are not true or if they are not yours! If anything is true and yours OWN IT NOW! Stay as close to the TRUTH as you can. You will learn that everything is done forever - some things matter and some things don't. Everything, however, is done forever - including yourself. Owning everything now won't help you grow up any faster. It will, however, help you to stay close to yourself and to the TRUTH. Staying close to yourself and to the TRUTH will give you a very powerful base of operations and keep you from getting confused about yourself and others. LEARN TO LOVE. It is all that matters. Be careful to learn thoroughly the art of loving. GROWTH/CHANGE is the only constant. Stay active and look for more life (growth/change) in yourself, others, and the world.
Seek the wholeness of your life and the life of the world. Recognize and remember the HOLY that surrounds you and makes you sacred. Find your soul and take your sojourn by taking your soul back to your maker and share it with others along the way.
        Growing up is hard enough without doing it backwards, upside down, or inside out. You can know who you are and you can be very comfortable with who and what you are. When this happens you are free to love and enjoy the many wonders of your life, the lives of others (parents included), and the many, many other lives of the world.

© 2008, 2005, 1996  by Zirahuen  from THE GAME OF LIFE – A PLAYER’S MANUEL FOR EXECUTIVES AND OTHERS, Don Davison, Ph.D.

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