The Rules of the House

At times, some of the junior members of Kay Nou claim that they are “unfamiliar” with the rules of the house.

As any jailhouse lawyer will gleefully inform you, ignorance of the law is a piss-poor defense.

Nevertheless, being the infinitely merciful and patient Major, I will publicly state for all the Rules of Kay Nou:

The only criteria that you may use to judge people is the content of their character.

Since we just passed MLK Day, we’ll start with this one in light of the fact that I poached it right from the King himself.  Looks come and go.  Intelligence doesn’t make you great.  What a person says and does and the degree to which they follow through are what really count in this world.

We think the best of our friends and loved ones, never the worst.

Unfortunately, not everyone was raised with this motto.  I myself need to overcome negative thoughts about those close to me from time to time.  But, if we don’t assume the best of our friends and loved ones, who will?

Be happy with what you have.

This is our family motto at Kay Nou.  It is also the secret to happiness in life.

Watch your lane.

This is the final instruction on most live fire exercise in the U.S. Army.  If you watch your lane, you may hit your target.  If you watch other lanes, you will miss and others may possibly die.  This axiom is closely related to the rule right above it.  Keep your eyes on your own progress and don’t worry about what others are achieving or earning.

Although I may act like the janitor from time to time, in fact I am not.

If you see something that needs fixing or correcting, try your hand at it.  Don’t avert your eyes and assume that it will be taken care of when the second shift arrives home.  If you fail in your attempt, you will gain my esteem, not lose it.

The magic elves died.  Actually, I killed them.

Do you know how that icky stuff that you leave in the drain mystically disappears after you walk away?  You don’t?  Well, you’re about to learn.

Hammurabi gave great code.

Take not counsel of your fears.

General Patton was right.

Remember who you are.

We have something special going here.  You are the only person who can take that away from yourself.  Peer pressure can make all of us depart from our true selves at times.  Don’t stray far.

Although neither of us may like what the other is doing right now, we may come to respect those actions at a later date.

The older I get, the more I come to realize the validity of this statement.  Unless I’m deluding myself, I think this passes for wisdom.

Dad/Papa is not your friend.  He is your father.

If I do my job correctly, you will have many friends later in life.  I hope you will have only one father.

I trust you.  Now, please trust me.

Although you really don’t know what you’re doing yet (and despite the fact that your frontal cortex is not yet fully formed), I pose a certain amount of trust in you everyday.  As for me, sometimes I know what I’m doing.  To quote John Hiatt: Have a little faith in me.

Although you may think you’re a screw-up, my money is on you for the long run.

I’m betting on you, pal.  Why?  Because you’re excellent.

The best acts are the good deeds that no one ever learns about.

Do at least one of these a day.  That’s what having a healthy soul feels like.

Unlike Bourdeaux, bad news does not age well.

Come to me now and we can try to figure it out.  Trust me, the other way doesn’t work as well.

No matter what, stop and tell yourselves that your parents love you and would lay down their lives for you.

Repeat as necessary.

— The Major


6 responses to this post.

  1. Good rules to live by!


  2. Posted by Cecily on January 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

    What thoughtful, wise rules. Incidentally, one of my favorite quotes and we just started teaching it to little C. Your post makes me think about our own family rules, most of which I think are informal/unspoken. I think it’s time to start building our own formal list of family rules. Thanks for the inspiration.


  3. Posted by Melania on January 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Always good reminders of what we should strive for daily. and realize on the days that we don’t live our lives this way, we have another day to make a great effort! Thanks!


  4. Posted by Cecily on January 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”


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