I had a nice trip to Columbia today for a rehearsal. I got to play on a really fantastic piano, and then I had sushi for dinner. The long drive was a little bit lonely, so I hugged the road. It's good to be home, though. A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
I think that the American "entitlement" epidemic is the major cause for the American litigiousness epidemic (which can also be seen on popular reality TV programs).
I'm really glad that I don't have a deep-rooted need to gain emotional validation from others. I do what I do without a vested interest in what others think of me. This only works because I am considerate of others.
In thinking about this, I have come up with a code of conduct. Feel free to offer your comments about it!
While it is in my nature to be judgmental (it's just my personality), I try as hard as I can not to let it affect my treatment of others. Judging others is dangerous because it frequently involves jumping to conclusions, and it is essentially a selfish endeavor: a more destructive way of seeking validation through others.
Living by the Golden Rule does not require justification, permission, or validation. We all must simply expect to be treated the way we are treating others. And, mutatis mutandis, it is wrong to demand such equal treatment from others.
Further, we can't go around living our lives either feeling hurt or assuming that we've hurt other people through our words or actions. If you do or say something that you know violates your own self-imposed code of behavior, you apologize and ask forgiveness. Otherwise, don't worry about it. If someone hurts you, don't lash back at them! If they have no clue about how to treat others, then you don't need to be hanging around them. If you are confident in your own morality, then there is no need to feel resentful, or even slighted. Never demand apologies; stand by your own words and actions; and let them be. Time will bring closure.
So where is there room in this code of behavior for emotional intimacy? It lies in trust. People say that trust must be earned. This seems to me to be another open door for emotional dependency. Basically all that anyone can really do is trust someone else until that trust is violated. If someone violates your trust, that person should make amends. If they don't, you can decide to withdraw your trust. No explanation is required.
When it comes to money, then the trust issue gets a little bit more complicated. But the solution is simple: There is no trust when it comes to money. Only lend money or valuable belongings to those with whom you have a contract or legal agreement for repayment. Otherwise, don't expect to get it back, and treat it as a gift.