General Semantics Advanced Thinking
A System-Discipline Concerned with the Sanity of the Race & the Individual
The Game of Living

by Milton Dawes

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The game of living can be fun
But we must learn some rules.
Not only rules of this ‘n that
But rules about the rules.
There’re lots and lots of rules to learn
And rules it suits us to unlearn.

There’re rules to learn from those like us
Also from others not like us.
There’s much to learn from those we like
Also from those we do not like.

There’re rules to learn from streams and trees
From skies and clouds and birds and bees.
Rules to learn from young and old
And from the timid and the bold.
Lots to learn from trying things out
And from being still, and sitting things out.

The game of living can be fun, if we but learn some rules.
One has to have an open mind, and must be curious too.
And if each day that comes along we learn just one thing new,
And if we learn to listen well – to see what we can hear,
And if we practice looking – just to hear what we can see,
And if the rules I make for me , are not for others, too,
And if you create your own rules from rules some make for you
Then we will not be ruled by rules
If we can rule our rules.

Here are some rules to think about.
You have the tools to check them out.
I give my meanings to your words,
You give your meanings to my words,
And if you tell me what you mean,
I still do not know what you mean.
If we assign some truth to this
Let’s think about meanings we give
And many meanings we miss giving.

A word is not the thing it stands for.
The word ‘moon’ doesn’t shine at night.
Things are not what we say they are,
A thing is not its given name.
There’re no two things that are the same
Not even one thing stays the same.

To better understand ourselves and others,
To better understand the world around us,
Similes work better for us.

This is like that; this is not that.
If two things seem to be the same,
Look closely at the way you look
For differences that are always there.

If what I see isn’t all there is….
Then what I know might not be so.
If what you see is not my view,
How can we know which view is true?

The world we live in has its rules.
It does not care about our rules.
So when we think we know for sure …
Let’s pause a while to learn some more.

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