The term ‘decalogue’ has been used, within certain constituencies, to denote the Ten Commandments, recall the tablets Moses received in a magical moment. Years ago, the late Christopher Hitchens, acclaimed atheist, did his own spin on the Commandments, which is a fascinating read, bringing a current commentary and irreligious relevancy to the divine deliverable. With the growing religious fervor both abroad and at home, maybe it time to revisit and posit a new set, recognizing the diversity of thought, evolution of moral righteousness and behaviors, weaved together in a fashion of equanimity.
Let’s first recount some of the original content in Cliff Note fashion: 1. Monotheism; 2. No bad pix of the supreme. 3.No cussing. 4. Take the day off and pray. 5. Respect mom and dad 6. Don’t murder 7. Don’t cheat 8.Don’t steal 9. Don’t lie 10.Don’t wish for things other might have.
Now let’s do our own spin, and a bit secular. First, let’s not use the “negative” (i.e., “Do Not…”) but rather the affirmative. And let’s take it further, to a kids’ version as they are the ones that are exposed early to the teaching. Here we go…..
1.Believe in a future. Have dreams.
2.Be true to yourself and to those that you love. Find your passions and pursue them.
3.Speak kindly of those around you. Or don’t speak at all. Bad jou-jou.
4.Work hard and play hard. Gain pride in your effort, while recognizing that life is too short not to enjoy the moment.
5.Love and respect your parents, your siblings, your friends and all the “little folks” (children), as they only mean well. And respect your teachers. They are helping your future.
6.Be nice to everyone, even when it’s difficult. Just because someone may be of different colors or thoughts or practices, consider it a new experience, something new to learn about. You only grow smarter and wiser. And you will have more fun.
7.Always be honest, tell the truth, even when it is easier to fib. Fibs come back and bite you.
8.Share what you have and hope others share too. More fun that way. Let’s party.
9.Do something nice for someone everyday. Pay it forward, it will come back to you many times over.
10.Appreciate that what you have, as so many aren’t as lucky. While some have more, more have less.
This is not intended to be at all dismissive of the original Commandments, as a Catholic personally. Sometimes though a refreshed interpretation adds positively to the narrative and our collective experience.