The Golden Rule
by Tom Cunningham
Everyone has heard of The Golden Rule – Do unto others as you would have done unto you. The challenge is applying it in our lives, on a daily basis, in everything we do.
An adaptation of The Golden Rule is to do unto others as they would have done unto them. We are all unique and what you would like people to do to you is often different than what other people want done unto them.
This perspective forces us to put more thought and effort into doing unto others by asking, thinking, and perhaps researching the person you want to help. Doing that will uncover how that specific person would like to be helped as opposed to how you might have served them.
In Matthew 7:12 we read “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” Let’s consider “in everything” when thinking of The Golden Rule. How about when you speak or write something in a nasty tone about someone you dislike? How about when you gossip? What benefit do you or others receive when you share your negative opinion about someone? The answer is that there is absolutely no benefit to you or the people you communicate with.
Who cares if you intensely dislike a politician? Keep that in your thoughts and wrestle with it yourself instead of sharing your totally unproductive and negative thoughts with others. Many things I have read on social media tell me more about the person themselves than the person they are hating on.
What about when you shop? I have heard from numerous retail clerks about the horrible way customers treat them, including swearing at them. What if it were you or your son or daughter had to put up with someone like you? Think about that before you berate a retail clerk.
What about your coworkers? Do you speak negatively about them to other coworkers or with your spouse when you get home? Do you speak negatively about some of them on an almost daily basis? Is that applying The Golden Rule? Of course, it is certainly not so why do you continue to do it?
The most challenging area of The Golden Rule is our thoughts. Every married person experiences negative thoughts about their spouse. What makes this thinking go beyond The Golden Rule is continuing to focus on those thoughts instead of recognizing them quickly, and deliberately choosing to think of the many positive things about your spouse and your life with them. This process helps us to practice the golden rule in our thoughts and will create a positive feeling from an initially negative thought.
Practicing The Golden Rule starts with your thoughts and words about everyone, including people you dislike. When your thoughts and words are positive about everyone it becomes easy to treat others well in our actions. We all have negative thoughts about some people. Stop sharing those thoughts with other people in any way, including social media.
Think, speak, and write about people you like. This one thing will create a positive and pleasing personality that will make you stand out way above the crowd and will make you happier and more positive.