EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Paul offers the two most inflexible rules that he personally tries to adhere to in all of his relationships from his most casual friendships to his most passionate loves.
THE CRITICS RAVE! “I think it’s more than safe to say these are pretty hard-ass rules to be coming from a head as soft as Paul Sunstone’s.” — Gus “Gunning Gus” Johnson, The Blog Critic’s Column, “Leper’s Gulch Gazette”, Leper’s Gulch, Colorado, USA.
THE CRITICS WORSHIP! “Perhaps the most charitable thing the world can say about Paul Sunstone’s ‘Two Hard-Ass Rules’ is that they do not provide explicit encouragement to the murdering of old ladies, saints, and orphans.” — Aloyse Leblanc, Le Critique Passionné de Blog, “La Tribune Linville”, Linville, France.
THE CRITICS GO BALLISTIC! “With his ‘Two Hard-Ass Rules’, Paul Sunstone launches an unprovoked thermonuclear attack on the both the foundations and edifice of all decent morality.” — Merriweather Sterling, Blogs of the Day, “The Daily Burtie”, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, England, UK.
When it comes to people, my heart has a lot of different tuning forks in it. It resonates on at least a fair size range of frequencies — some of them “contradictory” with each other.
I like both Terese and Jay. Jay is among the most abrasive people I’ve met in my life — short of a few people who were decisive jerks or criminals. Terese is just about the sweetest, most pleasant person I’ve met since I met myself 62 years ago. My heart resonates on many frequencies.
I try to treat each person as a special individual. But I do have two more or less iron rules that I apply to everyone. And not just everyone I have some kind of relationship with — everyone. Full stop. Period.
Here’s the first one:
“Strive to leave people as well or better off than you found them.”
Knowledgeable readers might note the family resemblance to Dan Savage’s Campsite Rule*. That is, my first hard-ass rule can be thought of as a much more generalized version of Savage’s rule. More generalized and further extended to include everyone.
My second hard-ass rule has no family resemblances that I myself know of:
“Do not try to make someone your possession, and do not allow someone to make you theirs.”
Together, those two rules constitute my “non-negotiable” morals when it comes to how I myself prefer to treat people and prefer to be treated by them.
*A fair summary of Dan Savage’s Campsite Rule might be: If you’re in a sexual relationship with somebody significantly younger or less-experienced than you, the rule that applies at campsites shall be applicable to you: you must leave them in at least as good a state (physically and emotionally) as you found them in. That means no STDs, no unwanted pregnancy, not overburdening them with your emotional or sexual baggage, and so on. Younger partners and particularly virgins will often take everything given to them by an older, more experienced partner as being “written in stone,” and will carry around everything they learn from them for the rest of their life: so treat them right! [Source]