The first and most important is, of course, The Golden Rule. You know that one: Do unto others ... etc.
Don't hold it against me that I abbreviated that rule, either. I don't think that Jesus would mind if I save a little typing. Then again, I didn't think that Jesus would mind when my sister and I used to give "high fives for Jesus," but Mom thought that he would mind. But I'm pretty sure he wouldn't because we didn't do it sarcastically or anything. Well, not sarcastically towards Him. A little sarcastically towards Mom.
I didn't invent the Golden Rule, but I try to follow it. I try to follow all of my rules. Like the Second Most Important Rule. It may not be Golden, but it's worth a lot. Worth so much that I'd like others to follow it, too, although all too few people actually try. The Second Most Important Rule is to constantly ask yourself: What can I do to make Roy's life easier today? I don't know why that rule is not more popular. It doesn't require all that much effort. All you have to do is, say, not be ahead of me in line in the 15-items or less lane and refuse to let me skip even though all I've got is 2 cartons of milk and you've got 14 items, and it's 14 items only if you count the three Twix bars as one item, but they're separately packaged, so I think they're three, and then you ask the cashier to get you some packs of cigarettes, and it's two different kinds, so that's clearly over 15 items, all of which is taking place while my milk is getting warm, and a gallon of milk over the course of its lifetime should really only be out of the refrigerator for maybe 5 minutes, in the aggregate, and you're using all of those up while I stand in line behind you.
So following The Second Most Important Rule would have saved all that trouble just by letting me skip, and then we're all happy, right? Well, I'm happy, and that's what The Second Most Important Rule is all about.
Plus, you'd be helping enforce The Milk Rule, which, as I said, is that Milk should not be removed from the refrigerator for more than 5 minutes, total, in its lifetime. I can taste it if its been out longer than that, and it's gross. 6-minute Milk is disgusting.
You've got to have rules in your life, or everything will devolve into Cloverfield. (Cloverfield is my new word for chaos, because I assume that the movie was about the chaotic effect of some kind of monster attack on New York. I assume that because I never got to see the movie. Also, now, when one of the Babies! acts up, I refer to them as "Cloverfield" because I think maybe the monster was called "Cloverfield." I probably should just see the movie.)
(I also call the Babies! other nicknames. In the mornings, when I go get them for breakfast, they are the Raspberries, because Raspberries is mine and Sweetie's code word for "Help me with the babies!" If you go into their room, for example, and they're both jumping so high they're almost bouncing out of the crib and they need their diapers changed and they start fighting, you yell raspberries over the baby monitor. And pray.)
(And I call them "Bungalow Bill" and "Captain Marvel" after the Beatles' song. But that's mostly when they're at work with me and we play a lot of Beatles' music.)
(The Babies!, by the way, do not have any idea what their actual names are. I'm serious. We have nicknames for them that we use all the time and have since they were born, and they've never been called by their real names, so when they go places like the photo studio for pictures, we have to explain to the photographer what their nicknames are and why we call them that, because the Babies! do not answer to their real names. So keep that in mind when you get around to picking a nickname for your own kid(s).)
So to avoid Cloverfield in my own life, I have a series of Rules for Living that I follow religiously -- and not religiously like "high five for Jesus" religiously, religiously the way your great aunt went to church every day: seriously and without bending them, ever.
My rules range from clothing-related rules like "Always take dress shirts from the right side of the closet," because I hang my shirts and pants to the left, so the shirts on the right are the ones I haven't worn in the longest. That way I don't repeat shirts too often. Or "Don't take off my shirt while jogging until I'm through the park," a rule meant mostly to protect the little kids; I don't tan much and I'm not in what you would call peak physical condition, so I don't want to be responsible for scaring little kids by showing them what almost-40 really looks like. Or "Corduroys can only be worn between October 1 and March 31 no matter what the temperatures are on other times," which is the only reason I get a little excited about cold weather, and the only reason I'm a little sad when spring gets here: I love the zoop zoop zoop sound my cords make when I walk.
I've got non-clothing-related Rules, too, like "Lunch has three categories," which has as its corollary, And one of the categories should be Ramen noodles. And rules meant to protect me, like When you're going to the doctor, leave your wallet and keys in the car and wear the light shoes in case they weigh you, because everyone knows that the wallet bumps that weight way up. And sometimes they round it up, too, for no reason at all! The last time I went, the little slider was right in the middle and it could be a 2 or 3, and the nurse went with 3. Why? I don't know. Maybe she was accounting for the fact that I'd taken off my belt. Belts are heavy.
You get the point. My Rules for Living make the world a better place. For me. Especially The Second Most Important Rule. Commit that one to memory. And if you don't let me skip, at least get only one Twix. Because there were none left for me.