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Rules and common sense

Kids have the unrealistic expectation that once they are adults, they can do whatever they want, whenever they want. Adults know better. The rules may be different but they do exist. The most common is the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Or, he who has the gold, makes the rules. How someone applies the rule demonstrates their character.

Always check your work. This rule is good for anything you do. I think back to when someone was learning to set irrigation water. Years ago, irrigation tubes were used in a gravity flow system. An irrigator primed each tube by applying pressure with the hand and pumping the tube. Once tubes had all been set it was vital to look over the set to be sure all of the tubes were still running. If not, they needed to be restarted. The irrigator had to be sure there was not some problem causing the tubes to quit. If there was, he had to fix the problem. Not checking would leave some rows dry and lower the crop yield.

Those of us who follow the program NCIS hear “Gibbs’ Rules,” by number. After watching the show over the years, many of the common sense rules add up to good life guidelines.

• Rule No. 3 is: Don’t believe what you’re told. Double check. It might be reinforced by the adage, “trust but verify.” This goes along with “the buck stops here.” When a person is in charge it is their neck on the line if underlings do not do a quality job.

“Pullquote.”

• Rule No. 36 is: If you feel like you are being played, you probably are. It goes along with Rule No. 42: Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker-punched you. Another way to think of it is this: when someone shows you who they are, believe them. It is not a matter of gossip or inuendo when you have witnessed it. Be honest with yourself. In domestic violence situations this is the rule: If he hit you once, he will hit you again. Apologies and/or gifts may be a band aid but are not permanent healing fixes.

• Rule No. 15 – Always work as a team goes well with Rule No. 28 – If you need help, ask! As does Rule No. 8 – Never take anything (or anyone) for granted.

• Rule No. 6 – Never say you’re sorry. It’s a sign of weakness. Many readers will remember the movie, “Love Story,” in which the memorable line was “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Yet there is a third one that fits in in this category and it contradicts the rule. Never saying you’re sorry, not because it would make you look weak, but that you cannot admit you were wrong.

One of the best rules or at least advice, that has been floated around doesn’t come from Gibbs but from Mr. Rogers. He said, “Always look for the helpers.” During any type of crisis or simple need, seek help. And if you are able, you can be the helper. ❖


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