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Golden Rule

I was raised on two different golden rules, one, the standard which is to treat others as you would want to be treated. The other, made my stand up comedy routine on the regular which was, in Blackjack, never hit on a 2 when the dealer is showing a 6. Our family road trips were more fun than yours.

I was thinking about that last weekend as my entire family traveled to West Virginia to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents. 12 of us gathered together, took time off work, swim and soccer practices, got the dogs sitters or boarded and off we went.

The weekend was truly great, we laughed a lot. We ate everything, all the time, we drank all the drinks, we hiked, biked, swam, rode carriages, got dressed up and rested. We went to the casino, where it didn't matter when I hit or stayed, I still lost. The weekend was full of celebration.

I realized one reason it was so easy and so great is because we didn't have the stresses that are holidays, presents, time in the kitchen for she only eats this and he won't eat that. No clanging of dog bowls too early or cleaning up accidents that were made overnight. Simply put, it was a vacation with my family in every sense of the word.

But 50 years, friend, 50 years my parents have enlisted the golden rule in our family. We have lived by it, because our golden rule comes with an addendum. Our rules to live by, go something like this:

Treat others as you would want to be treated, and stand up for yourself when someone doesn't do that to you. Don't sit idle by and let someone wrong you. Pick your battles. Put things under rugs that you don't intend to get out again. Let go of frustration if you can't change the situation. Be kind, be humble. If you dish it, you bet your ass you better be able to take it. Show up. Don't lose who you are to help someone else's dreams come true. Love big, say it often. Be proud, but chill on the pride. Laughter, at a joke, at yourself, at a situation, at stupidity within the family is acceptable. Acceptance is a must. Mistakes happen, faultiness is within all of us, but love each other, we must. Respect others, but make sure you respect yourself.

50 years of raising a family on these rules, and I'd say they did it right.

To my parents, with all that I am, thank you.

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