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Most faiths have a code of ethics by which followers are expected to live. The Way is no different in that respect. We are expected to live in a way that represents those we follow, and is beneficial for ourselves and the world at large. Above all else, understanding and living this code is of greatest importance.
I hope you’ll forgive me for the fact that I’m having trouble putting this all in a simple outline. I’m going to do the best I can. Some of the points listed here will be given a post of their own to go into more detail.
- Be honest: More than anything one should be honest. You should do your utmost to never lie. You may need to learn when not to speak or how to make creative use of the truth, but you should not lie to yourself or to others.
- Accept responsibility: One must take responsibility for their own thoughts, words and actions. Refrain from placing blame on others. Even when another may have some fault, we each have our own responsibility in any situation, and we must accept it.
- Refrain from violence: Never do harm to another being without true justification. One may attack in defense of self or another, but violence for other reasons is rarely acceptable.
- Learn from your mistakes: We all make mistakes. We must accept or downfalls and shortcomings and we must always learn from them. Every fault or failure is an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Feel your emotions: Allow yourself to experience emotions when they come. Sorrow, hate, fear and anger have as much value as love, kindness and joy. No emotion is “wrong” or “bad”, and all emotions should be experienced and used for growth.
- Balance care: Do not be too selfish or selfless. Care for yourself and care for others equally. Giving too much or taking too much can lead to pain in life.
- Share knowledge: Do not be greedy with knowledge. share what you know with others. It takes nothing from you to do so, there is always enough for all. Teach and share knowledge for the good of all.
- Promise carefully: Never make a promise you can’t keep. Often we make promises knowing full well they cannot be guaranteed, and this is not right. Only promise if you can and will commit to keeping your word at all costs.
- Have discipline: Many things in life require work and dedication. One must have discipline and be willing to take constant, devoted action towards that which they believe in or desire.
- Have equal standards: Never hold anyone to a standard that you, yourself will not or cannot meet. Expect of others what you expect of yourself and vice versa.
- Be courteous: Treat all people with courtesy and kindness. Treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. No one is above or below respect and decency.
- Be discrete: Only commit to keeping a secret if you feel it is right to do so and can hold to that promise. Do not reveal things about others when it is not your business to do so. Know what should be private and what may be public.
- Respect everyone: Treat all people as equal, regardless of their color, race, gender, faith or any other qualifier. Show the level of respect to everyone you encounter that you would wish to be shown yourself.
- Be adaptable: Everything changes. People must change and grow, and flexibility of mind and life is needed. Accept that change will happen, and be willing to move with the flow of life, even when it means new or uncomfortable experiences.
- Have gratitude: If you are not grateful for what you have, you deserve nothing more. Give thanks for what you have, and for the beauty and wonder of the universe around you.
- Connect with nature: The Universal Power is within everything. Nature is a pure form of that energy. Connect with it whenever you can and give it respect and care.
- Maintain spiritual practice: Spiritual practices may vary, but one must engage in regular practices to show respect for and maintain connection to the Universal Energy. Practice your faith often.