Touch the lives of those around you in a way that encourages critical thought, tempered by love for humanity. Act as an agent for human rights wherever you go, engaging those who hold uncivil thoughts towards their fellow man in a way that encourages compassion.
Defend the basic human rights of individuals where they are threatened because of their gender, age, colour, sexual orientation, individual belief and attack those people or institutions that oppose equality for the aforementioned whether they oppress for personal, cultural or religious reasons.
Reserve the right to be intolerant of intolerance or forgo a tolerant society. A society that upholds the rule of law, tolerance and equality needs to be continuously fought for as it was fought to be arrived at.
A life that partakes even a little of friendship, love, irony, humour, parenthood, literature, art and music, and the chance to take part in battles for the liberation of others cannot be called 'meaningless'. It could be that all existence is a pointless joke, but it is not in fact possible to live one's everyday life as if this were so.
Beware the irrational, however seductive it may seem, don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Don’t take refuge in the false security of consensus.
Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you. Be suspicious of those who are confident that they hold the meaning of 14 billion years of unguided events and that the universe has a purpose for them.
Life will sometimes feel tough and long and tiring. Sometimes you'll be happy, sometimes you'll be sad and then you'll be old and then you'll be dead. Fill your life with learning, take pride in what you do, share ideas, have compassion, be enthusiastic....and then there's love and travel, wine and sex, art, kids, giving, mountain climbing and shit...
It's an incredibly exciting thing, this one meaningless life of yours...fill it.
Updated 10 commandments
These statements are ten-fold, like the ten commandments, but are requests rather than commands. I feel that there would be a lot less killing, stealing and coveting of neighbours wives if god had asked nicely instead of commanding…but what do I know?
Test ideas by experiment and observation.
Build on those ideas that pass the test. Reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question everything.
Don't suffer fools gladly or entertain the easily offended.
Have a higher respect for earthly things over the invisible…never lose the ability to stand in awe of the moon, a sunset, a mountain or an oak tree.
Do things that scare you, things that your family before you have not…and your family after you will be in awe of. Travel wide, but only to get closer to yourself not further away.
Don't necessarily respect a person’s opinion, but be willing to fight for their right to have it.
Understand that wealth is a state of mind and that the secret to being rich is to make your needs few.
Stay young, sing, laugh, cry and hope. Enjoy the good things and don't sweat the bad things…and understand why you have two ears and one mouth.
Don't like someone’s opinion because you’re meant to, or respect someone because you’re meant to…but don't have a lack of respect for someone until you've met them. Judge people for their mind.
No matter what they tell you, never forget who you truly are.
Don’t think too highly of yourself. Remember that you are just an over-developed ape on the only known planet with the ability to sustain life.
On the second day of genius, Richard rested.