When I was a kid, I was raised with pretty simple ideals.
Be polite. Be real. Focus only on things that make you better, things that expand your mind, and things that are a good use of your time. Tell the truth. Be kind. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Do what you say you’re going to do, even when it’s hard, even when no one is watching. Fulfill your commitments. Be on time. Watch your words, for the words you speak decide for others who you are. Be responsible for yourself. Pick up your own mess. Dress in a way that exemplifies your character. Leave everything better than how you found it. Stand up for yourself. Stand up for others. Life is 10% what happens and 90% how we react to it. Choose a positive attitude. Treat others with love, grace, and respect, no matter what.
SIMPLE. Good. All good things. All good ideas, all good beliefs. If I were to read you these ideals one at a time, I doubt you’d have a problem with any of them. These are the kinds of things we raise our kids to believe, the personality and character traits we hope others see in us. When I die, I want people to say I did all these things.
Except now, it seems to me that life and relationships are getting way more complicated.
As dumb as it is, these simple ideals all have caveats. Conditionals. Every single one of them has an “except” added to it.