Letter to a small lady


I knew it. Some children are not stupid. Yesterday, I had a conversation with a young lady which started to compile her own little "constitution". She was given a set of Golden Rules by her teacher, but there were major points she did not agree being valid for her. She wanted to define her own rules. But as the topic is complicated and she acknowledged not to have seen much yet, she decided to issue a tender to friends and family and request their proposals. I was really buffed by this approach. And of course, I decided to submit my contribution. I remember reading Earl of Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield's Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming in Man of the World and a Gentleman. But they were written in the years 1753 and 1754 and I was wondering for a  whether today, in the world of Hello Kitty, it is still appropriate to talk seriously to a child. I still decided to give it a try. She requested me to put down a set of Golden Rules for her, preferably also things which she does not want to learn the hard way. And I really had to laugh when I heard that. Proposals should be not longer than one page A4 by today's deadline. So, this is what I wrote.

Rules for a small lady

  1. Your purpose is defined by you; not by society, family, and teachers.
  2. Thinking is free and without borders. The driving force is curiosity. Expression is part of thinking. There are no taboos of thought. Stay away from ideologies, superstition and religions.
  3. Ask questions. The truth is the assumption that has the highest explanatory power. Never lie. Know what you talk about, but don’t always say all you know.
  4. Your freedom may expand as large, as it does not limit the freedom of others. This includes your freedom of speech.
  5. Independence enables your freedom of choice, and defines the size of your world. Only depend on those you trust. Have the means and abilities to defend your independence.
  6. Be trustworthy but don’t trust easily.
  7. You are responsible for yourself and for those whom you made trusting you.
  8. The smallest unit of society is the individual. You have the freedom of choice of your community. You have the duty to contribute to society. The human dignity is untouchable. You have the duty to defend anybody against repression, injustice, exploitation, violence and environmental degradation.
  9. Do not take full advantage.
  10. Manners are important to interface with your community and a symbol of your own dignity. Be graceful. Never be a sucker. Never know the underdressed.
  11. You can choose freely who you respect. Do not obey orders without questioning them. Seniority, formal positions, rank, and power are not principles that you have to follow.
  12. Health is the foundation of your life. Do exercise and sleep as much as you need.  Walk on foot every distance under 2 km. Do not use escalators or elevators. Never eat things that grandma would not have recognized as food. Also don't eat things where you can't pronounce the ingredients without hesitation. Avoid restaurants, in which you don’t know the cook.
  13. Take your time. Do things right. It is better to be effective than efficient. Low efficiency makes hectic, high efficiency makes stupid.
  14. Money is a resource enabling to do things and not the other way round. Don’t sell your life for no purpose. Do not waste resources, no matter whose they are.