Everyone lives by a certain set of rules. Morales, ethics, values, experience, call it what you will, but when you put it all together it kind of creates this code you live by. Like any code, it’s all about trying. We aren’t Yoda – do or do not. Life isn’t usually that simple.
The code evolves and changes over time. You are probably born with a base set of codes that nature has given you like it’s nice to survive. Your environment and upbringing teach you another set of codes, and your life experiences along the way give us a bunch more code to add to it all.
As we grow, we might learn that certain pieces of code are outdated and just flat-out wrong and hurtful. As a child, I know I recited racist playground songs about catching a “tiger” by its toe, but we didn’t use “tiger”, and honestly, I was a pre-teen with a best friend who was black before I knew it wasn’t “tiger”! That’s bad coding. That had to go!
I was listening to something recently and the person speaking was talking about the code they lived by and it made me think, “what is my code?” I mean I have to have one, but I’ve never really sat down and thought about it. What are the pieces of code I’ve picked up along the way that I’ve decided at this point in my life to hard-code, or can I even say I’ve got hard-code?
What is my code?
As I mentioned above, some of the code you live by is many times aspirational. I know this code is right, but day-to-day, man, this is hard to live by. The goal, I think, is you know that certain code is better if you can use it more than you do. So, you strive to use it more each day. Also, none of our code is unique. Remember, all of this we’ve picked up from someone or somewhere along the way.
– I try to help people whenever I can. Sometimes to my own detriment, and I know I’m not alone in this feeling. Because there are people out there with code that says “take” and if you are a giver and a helper the takers can really work you over some time. My dad taught me this. It’s both good and bad, at times, because helping people means sometimes your own family takes a backseat to others.
– I love to love, I don’t love to be loved in return. This is a tough one because we all want to be loved in return, it’s a basic human need. But I truly try to love others because I just love them regardless if they love me. It brings joy to my life.
– I believe the glass is half full. I’m not a negative personality. I love pessimistic humor, but I live my life believing a lot of stuff is possible with the right work, the right network, the right support, and some good timing. So, I guess I’m really a believer in people because I rely on a lot of people in my life to continue my belief that the glass is half full.
– I believe in hard work. Sometimes that’s actual back-breaking hard work that makes you sweat and hurt. Sometimes that mentally draining hard work that leaves your brain tired and exhausted. I’ve rarely ever met a very hard-working person who isn’t doing pretty well. They might not be the most successful, or the richest, but I’m not worried they won’t make it. Hard work has always been the one thing I could control on my own.
– I like to laugh often. I’m coded to laugh and smile. It’s both my best natural state and a defense mechanism. When I’m stressed, I like to make others laugh because I think it reduces the stress, but that’s not always true. Still, I prefer laughing to most other emotions. I love children for this reason. They laugh all the time because the world hasn’t beaten it out of them yet. Hanging out with little kids is so much fun! And if you throw puppies into the mix with little kids, watch out!
– I like to win. I mean I like to win at everything! Not just games, but debates, and life, and money, and love. Winning is so awesome, it’s way better than losing! By like a trillion million! The thing is, you have to have some big losses in life to really enjoy the big wins. And you have to be playing.
If I look at my codes I would say, “yeah, that’s me” but it’s also just a portion of me. It seems so incomplete. It’s probably why I’ve never really put a ton of thought into “my code”. When someone says, “Oh, I live by this code…” I find that as a challenge to discover when that isn’t their code, which is probably another piece of my code!
I married a Jewish girl. Because I was not Jewish when we got married, a Rabbi wouldn’t marry us. So, we used a Cantor (a singer in the Jewish faith, that can still marry people). This Cantor made national news by bringing in a former disabled Nazi into his house to live with him.
This Nazi was coded to hate Jews. But when the world turned its back on him and no one would take him in, this Jewish man did and cared for him. Fed him, took him places, etc. This man hated Jews because he was coded to hate Jews without really knowing any Jews. This friendship obviously changed his code. He realized that part of his coding didn’t fit reality.
We all have a code we live by, and I think the greatest part of that is we all get to choose and change that code as we see fit.
What is one of your favorite pieces of code?