The Golden Rule

Do you want to be happy? If your answer is ‘yes’ then you should make it a habit to treat others how you want to be treated. To put it another way, what you do not want done to you, do not do to others. This Golden Rule principle applies not only to how you should treat people, but it also means to think about others the way you want to be thought of; feel about others the way you want others to feel about you and, finally, you should speak about others the same way you want to be spoken of. Luke 6:31 puts it this way “as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” This principle will not be easy to follow but imagine what this world would look like if this became a way of life for us all. Life is like an echo. What you send out will come back to you. What you sow you will reap. Choose to be the type of person who will treat others nicely even when others have not been nice to them.

Our actions speak louder than our words. Our lives are defined not only by what we say but also by what we do. Show empathy. Make it a habit to try to place yourself in the shoes of another person – your loved ones, co-workers, people you meet on the street. Try to understand what it is like to be them, what they are going through, and why they do what they do. Be compassionate. Once you can understand another person, and feel what they’re going through, ask yourself what you would want someone to do for you in that situation to ease your pain and then do it. Don’t procrastinate – just do it. There are many people who go out of their way to be helpful, but in general people have a tendency to keep to themselves and to ignore the problems of others. Don’t be blind to the needs and troubles of others. Look to help even before you’re asked.

Overcome prejudice regardless if it is based on skin color, attractiveness, height, age, gender, religion. See each person as an individual human being, with different backgrounds and needs and dreams. Focus on the things you have in common with that person despite your differences. Stop criticism. We all have a tendency to criticize others whether it’s people we know or people we see from day to day. Just ask yourself if you would like to be criticized if you were in that person’s situation. Give people the respect and dignity that you want to receive. Don’t be afraid to interact with others even though they may look a little different than you do or are accustomed to.   The late Maya Angelou is quoted as saying “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Be careful how you treat people. The person you took for granted today just may turn out to be the person you will need tomorrow. Treating people the way you want to be treated fulfills the will of God. Make it hard for people not to want you in their life. This is happiness. What does this ‘golden rule’ mean for you?