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Stephen Goldin

Goldin Rules

Creation
This ongoing collection of aphorisms was last updated on 3/3/2009. Please check back for more wisdom to come.

  1. Pessimists are merely people who lack the imagination to see the answer to their problem.
  2. The cynic may see the answer, but lacks the courage to act on it.
  3. Children demand their rights; adults accept their responsibilities.
  4. Just as a child needs its parents, so does an immature society need its gods. Freedom is always hard to bear, and the weight of self-responsibility can only be carried after a certain level of sophistication has been attained.
  5. You can measure the immaturity of a people by the thickness of their law books.
  6. The best morality boils down to a simple respect for others.
  7. Ride with the moment. Even if it's unpleasant, there'll always be another along shortly.
  8. Where is security to be found? In a universe of constant surprises and disappointments, it's foolish to look for external sources. The sane person is, first and foremost, secure within himself.
  9. By the eighteenth century, scientists knew that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Awareness of that fact has put the physical sciences centuries ahead of the social sciences.
  10. If you can't achieve perfection in yourself, how can you expect it in others?
  11. A person can only feel alone if he's never gotten to know himself.
  12. Society is willing to exploit the responsible individual, but it rarely rewards him.
  13. There's nothing common about common sense.
  14. Guilt is a tempting trap for the unwary. It lets you feign responsibility while wallowing in ego.
  15. To fail to accept the unalterable is insane; to fail to change the intolerable is criminal. You must train yourself to distinguish between them.
  16. The sane person knows how much responsibility he can handle and refuses to accept more.
  17. Monogamy, like all perversions, should be practiced only between consenting adults.
  18. Sure, question authority. But don't forget to question the other people who question authority. The mere fact that they questioned authority doesn't mean they got the right answer.
  19. Curiosity has fed more cats than it's killed.
  20. The absence of evil is not goodness, merely another and subtler form of evil.
  21. Practicality is the horse you must ride; idealism is the road you must travel.
  22. Dedication to the Truth sometimes obscures the facts.
  23. All problems are solvable, but not all solutions are acceptable.
  24. Dogma is the weak mind's shield against reality.
  25. Sanity is the heaviest burden. Ethics is the narrowest cage. Together they are Mankind's noblest aspirations.
  26. The sane person expects scorn, and should never even hope for gratitude.
  27. The sane person leads by example.
  28. Trying to force sanity on an unready mind is a fool's mission.
  29. The universe is an asylum for the unsane, and the sane person is both its keeper and its hostage.
  30. The sane person has the right to do anything he wants, but the cost of that right is high: responsibility.
  31. In troubled times, a society will cling to its irrationalities the way a drowning man clings to a log.
  32. Sanity is seldom contagious.
  33. Don't worry that no one else can live up to your standards. That should be hard enough even for you.
  34. Societies based on the fairness of the universe are doomed from the outset.
  35. War is the ultimate expression of unsanity.
  36. Equality is a painful concept, because people differ in intelligence, beauty, wealth and skills. The one equality that links them all is their basic dignity.
  37. Since all people are different, it's natural to distinguish between them. But demeaning them because of their differences is unsane.
  38. Morals are rules imposed by society. Ethics are promises you make to yourself, and if you violate them you violate yourself.
  39. Society defines you by your morals. You define yourself by your ethics.
  40. Those who whine the most about regulations are the ones who prefer to do things in ways that are shoddy, unsafe, illegal or just plain wrong. Those who care about the quality of their efforts find that regulations are seldom exacting enough.
  41. There's always a test. Pay attention.
  42. Nothing's ever hopeless until you lose all hope.
  43. Think outside the box if you want, but remember--as in the case of housecats, the box serves a function.
  44. Everything is improbable until it happens.
  45. Believe in yourself first, and you may be less disappointed in life.
  46. Gods fit the minds of those who serve them.
  47. Don't pray for miracles--create them!

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