Friday, April 11, 2008

Life Lessons - The Golden Rule

Everyone is familiar with the Golden Rule - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or in more modern terms, treat people the way that you want to be treated. My recent realization is that one shouldn't take the Golden Rule too literally. From some recent experiences I have determined that people don't want to be treated the same way that you may want to be treated. In fact, most people have a certain perception of how they want to be treated and it has nothing what so ever to do with how you might personally want to be treated. And it may, in fact, not even have any direct correlation to how they say they want to be treated.

And in addition to that, I've recently determined that people often don't like to be treated the way that they treat other people, and I'm not even referring to the way they treat people when they are being rude or unkind. It has often been my observation that people with certain personality types can't stand other people that have their exact same personality type. But I've recently decided that there are people who act very friendly and inviting, but then don't appreciate it (and in fact resent it) when you act the same way in return.

So my take on all of this is that the Golden Rule should probably just be interpreted to mean that you shouldn't do things to other people that you wouldn't want done to you, or put more simply, don't be mean. But you must always remember that most people don't really live by the Golden Rule.


Anonymous said...

I am not huge on quoting from the Bible....I'm not particularly religious. But I know that Jesus is often misquoted on the Golden Rule. He says "Love others AS I HAVE LOVED YOU." Now that's a statement I can get behind. Because think about it. There's a whole lot of folks walking around that don't love themselves. My plea to those folks is "Please do not love me as you love yourself, I don't think I'll like it very much."

So - there's the take of one anon. reader of your blog. At least you know someone is reading! :-)

Jan said...

It's always good to know that someone is reading. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for adding your opinion. :)

David Keating said...

I have Google set to send me email when it finds references to the Golden Rule, which is what led me to your article.

You make a good case for what is often described as the "negative" version of the Golden Rule. Rabbi Hillel for instance, said "What is hateful to you do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah, all the rest is commentary"

Thanks for an execellent article.

David Keating
Golden Rule Radical