“Treat others as you want to be treated.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Then, why is it so difficult for us to actually do it, to live it & to embrace it? When one stops to analyze the golden rule, initially the words strike you as fair and just, but not necessarily as earth moving words. Then, as one begins to let those words seep in, deep into our hearts, our minds and our every day living, we realize just how life changing these words can be.
Imagine, if we applied these words to our every day life, to every aspect of our lives, how life changing that would be! If one day we decided to treat our spouses, our children, our employees, our business partners, our customers, with undeniable dignity, respect, understanding and kindness…how would they react?
Awhile back, my husband complained to me that he didn’t feel appreciated and that I wasn’t grateful enough. I thought to my self, grateful about what? I work, I stay home to raise our kids, I clean the house, etc. In my mind I had a long list of things that I did that could show that I was just as busy as him and that he should be the grateful one! But I decided to keep all that to myself and instead began to say thank you for everything. My husband knew that I was mocking him, but he didn’t say anything. He let me go on for days, thanking him for everything he did, from picking up his clothes, walking the dogs, running the dishwasher, getting the mail, etc. Even though my intent was to infuriate him with my wit, it actually backfired! I actually started to feel thankful! And he actually felt appreciated! Now, what an experiment gone awry!! But…what a lesson!
Our basic desire as human beings is to be validated, to be treated with respect and integrity. In our lives, when we encounter people that follow the golden rule, we gravitate towards them, because we feel safe, we can let our guard down and form strong bonds of friendship. There are some that believe that following the golden rule is great in personal relationships, but ‘business is business’. Many of you have heard of the common saying ‘all’s fair in love and war’, now I don’t know who said it first, or in what exact context, but it seems to have taken a meaning of its own! All is NOT fair in love, war, or in business. In these situations is when we must embrace the golden rule not reject it! Many of you watched ‘The Secret’ on Oprah last week, I’m not sure if I completely understood what the secret is, but what I did understand is that in striving to live the golden rule, we begin to live a life that is bigger than ourselves. All parts of our lives are blessed because of it. Our relationships, our health, and our businesses…in becoming less, we become more; in serving others, we better ourselves; in helping others realize their potential, we surpass our own.