Looking back at my life (OK, yes, I admit it, even in the last few days, ahem, sorry honey!), I realize that many mishaps could have been avoided by following The Golden Rule.
Growing up, I mostly knew of The Golden Rule in the positive version, which is, “Always treat all others as you yourself would like to be treated.” (Be kind. Act with compassion.)
But the negative version is equally important: “Don’t do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” (Don’t inflict pain. Don’t be mean.)
As is the intention version: “Wish upon others as you would wish upon yourself.” (Your thoughts are powerful. Think love.)
Once I start to view any relationship problem through this lens, the next steps seem to unfold effortlessly. It could be how to resolve a neighborhood dispute, or smooth out an argument with your spouse, or figure out a spat with a friend, or even how to redirect a child.
Those next steps are simple: Speak, act, and think kindly and sincerely.
As human beings, we are not things to be fixed. We need love and we need to give love. For love is infinitely patient and kind.
It’s easy to think about The Golden Rule and to follow it sometimes. But to follow it all the time? Every second? You start to see how enlightenment is a moment-to-moment phenomenon. The good thing is that once one moment passes, you have another to choose what you’d like to do with your time.
The Golden Rule applies to yourself as well. How would you like to be treated? Do you treat yourself that way? What would you not like others to do to you? Do you avoid inflicting pain on yourself? What would you like to wish for yourself? Do your thoughts mirror those wishes?
Let’s bring back the golden rule for peace within ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors, and the world.
Arlene Dijamco, MD