Do Unto Others

Posted 08-31-2012 at 11:35 AM by Krista

I’ve grown up with the principle of the Golden Rule touted around me. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Put simply (and the way my Mama would say it) treat others how you want to be treated. It seems easy enough to comprehend but is so much harder in actual practice. I’m sure most people would say that they believe in the Golden Rule but I don’t think you can claim conviction if you don’t practice the principle. That’s like saying you believe in democracy and not voting.

My husband and I have gone through difficulties—as has any couple married for eight years. Or, heck, eight months!—and the one thing that strikes me is that our complaints about the other person are so similar.

“You’re not nice to me.”

“You don’t give me space when I’m mad.”

“You don’t comfort me when I’m upset.”

Did you notice, like I did, that number 2 and number 3 are contradictory? Such is life, I suppose. When we argue, we seem to be saying the same thing. The gist is, our needs aren’t getting met. This morning, cleaning up and thinking over our last recent disagreement I remembered that I’d told him, “Treat people like you want to be treated.”

Again, I have heard it my entire life, but this morning the words hit me anew. The Golden Rule just seemed sort of perfunctory message of kindness to me. It was something that was said so often that it lost meaning for me. Today I found it’s meaning again: when someone is mean to you, respond with love. When your daughter screams at you, hug her. When the strangers we encounter in life or rude, or in a rush, don’t respond with equal rudeness. Instead, remember a time when you yourself were in a rush, or had other things going on. We cannot see what is going on in someone’s life; that person who just cut you off may be rushing to the emergency room.

My point is that so often we are shocked, hurt and offended by how others treat us without realizing that our own actions are not exactly setting the standard. It is hard to do, so hard. I am one of those people who likes to win the argument. If I am employing the Golden Rule, what I should do is admit fault when its there, apologize and try to move on. It’s difficult to go against our human nature because by nature we are a selfish people. In order to call ourselves evolved I think this is one thing we should all practice. Myself included. Maybe even more so.

Thanks for reading and have a great week, ladies!

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