Remember the golden rule? I’ve been asking people what that is and shocked to find most have no idea.
It’s not the golden ratio- that amazing mathematic equation that provides a sense of beauty through harmony and proportion. It fosters organic and natural looking presentations that make them pleasing and comforting to look at. Think of the pyramids, masterful paintings, memorable logos, songs, the human face, physique, and breathtaking nature all around us. The golden rule is equally as breathtaking in it’s simplicity. A way to create balance, harmony and beauty in how we interact with each other.
“Treat others as you’d have them treat you.”
It dates all the way back to Confucian times (551-479 BCE). It’s identified in some form in all major faiths. Over time it evolved from a religious saying to a secular one. Easily remembered, harder to practice.
Even leaders of the world adopted its premise when it became part of the 1993 “Declaration towards a Global Ethic.” In 2007, April 5 was designated Golden Rule Day. No longer a decree requiring a religious belief to honor, just a common understanding that all creatures should and must be honored as you’d want them to honor you. This day was set aside to allow us the opportunity to reflect on our interactions and the most powerful tool we have to make them work.
It’s doesn’t promote turning the other cheek when someone is abusive or hurtful or walking a day in someone else’s shoes when trying to comprehend their predicament. Wonderful concepts often too difficult to apply in real life.
It merely means stop, think a moment, and decide how you’d like to be treated. It means treating each other with respect, even when we don’t agree with the others viewpoint. It means showing common courtesy to everyone around us:
Saying please and thank you.
Showing gratitude to those who have been there when needed.
Sharing with those less fortunate.
Owning up to your actions.
Letting people know they are important.
Acknowledging another’s presence with a hello and goodbye.
Covering your mouth and nose when having to sneeze or cough.
Washing hands or using sanitizers after using the restroom and before handling food.
Wearing a mask to protect others from your droplets and you from theirs.
Staying feet apart to ensure we are all safe from catching and passing on a life threatening illness.
Hard to remember? Just follow the golden rule.
I was raised to use the golden rule as a measure of life’s interactions. It was a common refrain. A simple example to help children learn better ways to communicate and deal in social settings. Whenever something thoughtless or insensitive occurred the question was asked, “Is that how you would want to be treated?” Put in that perspective the answer was always,“No.”
My mother used to enshrine favorite sayings in decorative frames. They greeted you throughout the house. The Golden Rule was prominent. Another one I inherited greets me every morning. An easy reminder on how to start the day right,
“If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.”
We are all struggling
Ever notice how hard it is to maintain a snarky attitude when you’re smiling? Not sure how to maintain that upbeat, happy attitude when you feel anything but? Here’s another time tested goody-“Fake it ‘till you make it.”
We are all looking forward to a future that brings success, prosperity, love, happiness and human interaction back into our lives.
It’s easier to tear each other apart, see each other as the enemy and point blame when we are isolated, alone, scared and hurting. Harder to remember we all have the same hopes and dreams. We are not alone. Together we can achieve them.
The golden rule is no longer an idealized saying but the key to our survival.