III; The Precepts of Hedon
Precepts are guidelines, not absolute rules. These are Hedon's suggestions for living a good life. Unlike the Tenets which follow this section, the precepts are not absolutes.
Precept I; A true heart needs no rewards.
- This is to say that you ought to help people for the sake of helping them, not to get something for it. If someone offers you a reward however there is no ill intent in politely accepting it. If a reward is offered freely there is no reason to be rude and decline, unless the reward is greater than the giver can afford to give, in which case you should always decline politely. But you never ever should ASK for remuneration.
Precept II; Care for those around you.
- This is to say that the people you meet and live around are living breathing feeling creatures like yourself, and should be treated kindly, without excess or insincerity. And only until they treat you with malice or unkindness, after which you need only be civil and otherwise ignore them.
Precept III; Care for yourself.
- This is to say that your own body is a gift, and you should at least try to keep it cared for and working well. (The precept I myself have the hardest time living up to).
Precept IV; Share your talents.
- This is to say if you are good at something, truly good at it, don't hide it. If you can paint let your paintings be seen. If you can cook feed the hungry. If you can sing soothe the weary. A talent is not a treasure to be hidden away, it's a tool to make other people feel better, and through doing so make yourself feel good.
Precept V; Give as good as you get.
- This is to say that you should try not to be selfish, and when someone gives you joy, be it through a gift, a service, or even sex, you should at least attempt to give joy in kind. It's best to spread joy, not hoard it. There's no joy in being alone because you were selfish.
IV; Tenets of Hedon
Tenets are rules, of which Hedon has few, but what few it has are considered absolutes, and must be at least attempted to be adhered to. Tenets are the foundation for a good life as Hedon views it. You are only obligated to follow the Tenets if you believe.
Tenet I; Respect The Green.
- The world around you sustains you. It gives you the food you eat and the clothes you wear. Respect the Green, care for it, protect it. There are few things more selfish and destructive than hunting for sport, killing for unnecessary fashion, or destroying chunks of forest for a mansion or a mini-mall. Take from the Green only what you need, and protect the rest.
Tenet II; Respect Life.
- The people around you may frustrate you. They may be sheep who bleat at you to believe only what they believe, trod on your rights, and abuse you for being different, but they are still alive, and it is that life, not their abuse, that you must respect. Killing for ANY reason but survival is wrong, as is arbitrarily hurting someone. However...
Tenet III; Respect Yourself.
- That does not mean you should be a meek mousey carpet, turning the other cheek and letting the sheep trample you. You should always stand up for your right to be who you are, even if it's as simple as saying "Look, shut up. I don't tell you what to believe, kindly keep your nose out of what I believe. It is not your place or right to convert me." Then just walk away. Also this means to take pride in what you accomplish. You're born with the tools you use to succeed, and unlike some deities, Hedon doesn't need or want to be thanked and given all the credit for everything you do.
Tenet IV; Cause No Trauma.
- Sex is among the most wonderful things in nature, and any religion that villifies the free expression of it is trying to dominate you. Be open with your sexuality without being excessive, and NEVER use sex as a weapon. Sex is an act of affection and intimacy. To use sex to hurt or control someone is beneath contempt and beyond reprehensible. Also, just normal every day behavior should never be designed to hurt. Words can be weapons, always mind how you wield them. Even words should only slice in self-defense. Above all else, this means protect and respect children. Do not hide truths about sex from them, but NEVER foist sex upon them. No adult should EVER touch a child for sexual ends.
Tenet V; Keep Love Unchained.
- Love is what makes life worth having, be it loving your family, your children, your friends, the ones you're IN love with, your pets, your work, your home, it doesn't matter. Love is the most positive healing force in existence, and without going to, pardon the phrase, "hippy extremes" of running around trying to hug everyone you meet, show love in everything you do, be it growing a garden, building a home, helping a stranger in need, and especially in relating to your Family and your Circle. Hate is a poison, leave poison to the big leagues, they're so good at it. Cure that poison with love, and NEVER let anyone restrain your love.
Tenet VI; Condemn Action, Not Belief.
- It is the right or place of NO ONE on this earth to judge or condemn. I freely admit I loathe Christianity and Islam the RELIGIONS, but I never pass judgment on those who believe in it, or even on how cruelly a few very loud ones can act making the millions of decent ones look bad. But I never try to tell a Christian it's wrong for them to be a Christian, and most Christians actually are decent, non-judgmental people who take the good from the Bible and live by it. That tolerance does not extend the the small percentage of loudmouths who think they represent Christians everywhere and bellow loudly their ignorant judgments, using their beliefs to hurt others. Condemn a person for how they behave, not what they believe. And unless your life or safety or that of your loved ones is directly threatened, keep that condemnation limited to "You're a horrible bitter person, may your god forgive your malice", and just walk away. Nothing is served by arguing with a zealot, but never walk away without telling them they ARE one.