10 rules all decent humans live by

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Regardless of whether you’re religious, non-religious, old, young, rich, or poor, if you’re a decent human, you’ll have a moral compass and certain rules that you live by.

These are almost unspoken customs and habits that people worldwide practice – they unite us and make the world a better place.

So, without further ado, here are 10 rules all decent humans live by:

1. Treat others with respect

One of the most important rules that all decent humans live by is treating others with respect, regardless of their:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Job

The same also applies to those with different viewpoints – in today’s world especially, with so many opposing ideas pulsing through the internet, it’s more important than ever to keep an open mind and respect people’s points of view.

Even if they contradict your own.


Well, we can learn so much from each other if only we avoid judgment and treat people with basic respect and decency!

2. Be honest

From a young age, we’re taught not to lie.

When we lie, we rob people of the right to know the truth. And ultimately, it’s not up to us to decide that.

Even when it comes to seemingly harmless white lies (which, let’s face it, we all do from time to time), they can backfire and still end up causing hurt and pain.
So, if you want to be a decent human being, tell the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it is!

This will strengthen the trust and connection you share with others – people will know you’ve got integrity and you do the right thing even when it’s hard!

3. Help those in need

Another rule all decent humans live by is helping those who have less or are in need.

And whilst the most obvious and common way is to donate to charity, there are actually much smaller, impactful acts that we can all incorporate into our daily lives such as:

  • Making sure our families are taken care of
  • Helping neighbors
  • Volunteering at local (underfunded) schools
  • Volunteering within the local community

And of course, if you’re able to take some time off and volunteer your skills abroad, even better!

But to be a decent human, you simply need to have compassion. Recognize your good fortune, share with others, and do as much as you can to help those who are struggling in life.

4. Take responsibility for yourself

Taking responsibility for yourself means owning your actions. If you do something wrong at work, for example, don’t hide away or blame a colleague.

Admit your mistakes, apologize, and come up with a solution.

When you do this, people can see you’re a decent, honest human. And you know what?

It shows you’re a human just like the rest of us!

And that’s not all…

Taking responsibility is also an important part of our self-development and growth. We can’t “do better” until we recognize our shortcomings and own up to them!

5. Respect the environment

Just as we’ve mentioned the importance of respecting people from different walks of life, another rule all decent humans live by is respecting the environment – that includes animals and the world around us.

So, what does that look like exactly?

  • Recycling and doing your best to avoid waste
  • Treating animals with respect and dignity
  • Conserving water and energy
  • Being mindful of the impact we leave on the land

Put simply:

We only have one world!

We need to take care of it. Decent humans recognize that our actions today will impact the future of the world, so we must tread carefully and considerately.

But the world around us isn’t the only thing we need to avoid causing damage to…

6. Don’t cause harm to others

To be a truly decent person, this rule is essential. You see, when we cause harm to others, even verbally, we don’t know the full extent of our actions.

A mean comment to a kid can last their lifetime. A mocking, derogatory remark to an adult can spark insecurity.

That’s why it’s so important to be kind in our actions and words.

Even when someone is toxic or harmful, if we have the option to walk away and cut them out rather than stoop to their level, we should.

If we all lived by this rule, the world would certainly be a better place!

7. Be kind

Being kind to others means genuinely caring and going out of your way to brighten other people’s day. It’s showing compassion and friendliness, even if you’re not in the best mood yourself.

And the good thing is, there are so many ways to show kindness! Simple things such as:

  • Helping an elderly person carry their bags of shopping
  • Stopping to ask a homeless person if they need some water or food
  • Offering friends or family help when they’re moving house, have kids, health problems, etc, etc

This is a core rule all decent humans live by because kindness is contagious. When you do something good for someone else, they’re more likely to pay that generosity forward!

And the world needs kindness more than anything right now, so never miss an opportunity to display it.

8. Do the right thing (even if it’s hard)

We’ve spoken about being honest even when it’s uncomfortable, and this point ties in with that:

Do the right thing, even when it’s hard and you’d rather take the easy way out.

Here’s an example:

You find a wallet with $100 in it. You’re tempted to keep it, after all, you could do with the money.

But here’s the thing – it’s not yours to keep. Maybe a single father lost that wallet and this was money he had saved to feed his kids for the week, or pay rent.

Handing it into the police station might feel like a lost opportunity to get some free cash, but ultimately, you’re doing the right thing.

You can go home and sleep well knowing you’ve been a decent human, and hopefully, the wallet gets reunited with its true owner!

9. Keep your word

In other words, be reliable and trustworthy!

When you say you’ll do something, follow through. Keep your promises. Stick to your commitments, even if you don’t feel like it.

This builds trust with others and shows you respect and care for them, and it also instills a sense of responsibility in you to always keep your word.

Plus, you’re more likely to achieve your goals and targets too if you value the commitments you make.

This rule creates a great mindset and attitude which will not only improve your life but also the lives of those around you!

10. Be brave

The final rule that all decent humans live by is being brave – this means standing up against evil forces in the world!

And while no one is saying you need to be the next Superman, you can be a hero on a smaller scale.

Whether that’s calling out a rude customer who is abusing the cashier in the shop, or calling the police when seeing trouble-causers vandalizing a car, we should stand up for justice and respect.

But that’s not all…

All of the rules listed above require a degree of bravery.

To take responsibility for yourself, help others, and live with integrity, all require a level of vulnerability that can be quite difficult sometimes, and that’s where being brave kicks in.

So, if you find that you relate to most of these rules, give yourself a pat on the back!

And if not?

Don’t worry, it’s never too late to start being a decent person. Make a note of the rules you’d like to work on and start from there!


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