The Real Golden Rule

Let’s get real. Many cultures and religions have taught the golden rule, so you have probably learned it at some point in your life. For those that haven’t, it is a principle of treating others as you want to be treated.

Seems quite simple right? So simple, that it seems like it could be hard to forget, but as with anything, if you haven’t heard something in a long time, it’s either easy to forget or what more commonly occurs, the lesson could end up altered from it’s original form.

The golden rule through what I have witnessed has changed from “treat others as you want to be treated” to “treat others as you have been treated”. Although only one word has changed here, it presents a world of difference and ultimately, in my opinion, creates a perfect opportunity for us to not advance towards a better world.

There seems to be this connotation that “if I had to experience/endure _____, then others should have to as well”. My goal in life is to understand and after wracking my brain, I can only come up with the possibility/”issue” of fairness or lack thereof. People tend to not appreciate when someone was presented with an easier opportunity than they themselves received.

Example: Let’s say someone just paid off $80,000 worth of student loans and immediately afterwards, the government mandated free education for all, causing everyone who currently has student loans to have theirs forgiven and anyone who enters secondary education can do so expense free.

What I often hear is “I had to pay for my education, so should everyone else”. If you put a golden rule filter on this statement, I would imagine it looking a bit more like “I had to pay for my education, I’m really glad others don’t have to bear that weight”.

If it’s easy to feel a sense of distaste towards those who are provided a different/easier opportunity than yourself, try to view it in a personal sense. Would you have been happy (reusing the example above) to have not been crushed by student loan debt? Would you wish thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt on your son or daughter? Is this government change for a good cause? Do you think education should only be provided to those who have money? – or a lifetime (interest bearing) to pay it off? etc.

Let’s bring grandpa into this. Grandpa had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow barefoot. Would you have appreciated that experience, or are you grateful things have changed, so school buses allowed you an easier/more comfortable access to an education?

These are just two examples that reminding ourselves of the golden rule can increase the love and reduce the distaste we have towards others.

I reckon I could give example after example of how this slight tweak in the golden rule has created an unhealthy separation between us and the beautiful people on this planet, but I am here to learn as well so feel free to comment with your examples or thoughts below.

After all, when we help others… when we lift each other up, we’re all in fact lifted. This is the golden rule we needn’t forget my friends 💚

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