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12 Rules to Live By

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[Photo of Footprints in the sand]There’s a cozy little hotel I stay in every time I go to Dumaguete for speaking engagements. The place is very clean, alcohol is not allowed, and the staff are well trained and friendly.

As I was checking out from the hotel I saw a tiny little poster they had and was immediately intrigued by it. The title of the poster: 12 Rules You Can Live By. I asked to have a copy and they happily obliged. Let me share it with you.

Here are 12 Rules You Can Live By:

1. If you open it…close it.

2. If you turn it on…turn it off.

3. If you unlock it…lock it.

4. If you move it…put it back.

5. If it belongs to someone else and you want it…get permission.

6. If you don’t know how to operate it…leave it alone.

7. If you borrow it…return it.

8. If you use it…take care of it.

9. If you break it…repair it.

10. If you can’t fix it…call someone who can.

11. If you mess it up…clean it up.

12. If you can brighten someone’s day…say it.

Life is simple; man complicates it.

Rule No. 1 says if you open it, close it. This is what drives mothers nut. The family opens a tube of toothpaste and nobody cares to close it.

Rule No. 2 applies to the family as well as the work place. Somebody turns on the TV or the air con, but nobody bothers to turn it off. Imagine the waste of energy and the money you will have to pay for electricity.

Rule No. 3. You unlock your door and you forget to lock it again, bad news—especially if you’re living in our neighborhood.

You move a piece of furniture just so you can have a better view of your TV. That’s fine. But after doing so, move it back to its original place.

If it belongs to someone else and you want it, ask permission. Don’t just take something that does not belong to you. In fact, don’t you dare touch it until permission is secured. And for those who are a bit more mature, don’t you dare want something or someone who already belongs to someone else. This is how murders and crimes of passion take place.

If you don’t know how to operate it, leave it alone. Guess how many pieces of office equipment have been destroyed by people who have no business touching it in the first place.

If you borrow it, return it. And this includes books you borrowed and money lent you. Return them because you promised to.

If you use it, take care of it. Everything costs so much these days and a good steward knows that it is his obligation to care for the things he uses.

You know I can easily tell if a cab is owned by the driver or not. The cabbie of the owner-driven taxi drives it carefully over humps and avoids bumps. The hireling drives it recklessly, simply because he doesn’t care.

If you break it, repair it and make sure you pick up the tab.

If you can’t fix it, don’t touch it. Call in the experts or else you’ll destroy the thing.

If you cause a big mess, clean it up. Don’t start blaming others because problems are not solved this way.

And finally, if you can brighten someone’s day, say it.

Listen. Giving an honest compliment doesn’t cost you anything, but it sure can encourage people to do their best.

Life is beautiful. It is a gift from God. Live it to the fullest by living a life dedicated to a pure and simple devotion to Christ. And that is all that matters.

print ed: 10/08


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