The Golden Rule

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I am sure at some point in your life you have heard about the Golden Rule, but have you ever taken the time to think about what it really means?  This page and even this site in general will help you to delve into learning about just what the rule means and how to properly apply it in your life.

The Golden Rule

the-golden-ruleFirst off, what specifically is the Golden Rule?  I have heard many variations over the years, but they all can be boiled down to a very simple form.  According to Wikipedia:

“One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.”

Sounds simple enough right?  Yet if it is so simple, why is it that very few of us allow this rule to be our guiding principle?  On top of that, why do so many use it to justify their actions when you are only actually breaking the rule?  Well, let us take a deeper look into all of this.

The Basic Principal

The basic principal of the rule is that the way you treat others is how they will act towards you.  The rule itself is actually purely positive or negative, which does align with how we live in this world.  There are those of us who are decent human beings and would love to live our life by the positive aspect of the rule.  Then there are a select few among us who currently would rather live on the negative side of life and that is their choice just as much as it is for us positive folk.

Life is a balance of Positives & Negatives
Life is a balance of Positives & Negatives

There are several core aspects or emotions that we can positively tie to the Golden Rule.  The two big ones that I like to associate with it are Respect & Love.  When I am teaching my children about the rule, I always focus in on the respect angle first.  What this means is that you don’t always have to agree with the other person, but you have to at least respect their opinion and lifestyle choices.  Remember we are all different in this world and their will always be differences even between the most similar of people that will still need to be respected.

Can You Enforce The Rule?

This is where I have seen most people struggle with the rule and that is they think that they can enforce it.  For example, I have seen people express that someone hit them first so they just followed the Golden Rule and hit them back.  However not only do you break the rule yourself in this example, you have only reinforced to the other person that what they did was okay (it is the reaction that they wanted).  So if you can’t enforce the rule who can?

When it comes to Karma, what goes around comes around!
When it comes to Karma, what goes around comes around!

This my friends is where Karma steps in and does the job.  You see life is all about cycles and the more positively you adhere to the Golden Rule the more positive Karma you will have in your life.  Same goes for breaking the rule though, the more times that you veer off path the more often you will have challenges to overcome.  This can be a bit harder for some of us as Karma does not always work instantly, but rather will build up and boil over or just wait for the perfect moment to come back into the picture.

Incorporating The Golden Rule Into Your Life

Such a simple rule, yet what a challenge it is to live you life by the Golden Rule.  The first thing that you need to do is to define to yourself what your particular guiding aspect or principal will be.  I have already mentioned Respect and Love, but there are other avenues that you can take such as Forgiveness.  Also it doesn’t need to be just one positive aspect that you use, as you can blend them together to make it fit for yourself.  I would recommend to tie all positive aspects to the Rule, but you should have one or two that are your guiding principals.

One concept that helps me to live by the Golden Rule is to know that everyone I encounter is someone else’s child.  To put them in a basic human concept such as someone’s child, parent, sibling, or whatever helps to keep me grounded to the fact that while we are different people, we share common family bonds.  Patience can also play a key role as acting quickly can sometimes lead you down a path that you normally would not take.

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4 Replies to “The Golden Rule”

  1. James, I relate so much on this topic. In fact, this is my spiritual battle everyday. For me, the biggest inner obstacle of following the Golden Rule is selfish ego, only thinking about what I want and how I want to be treated. However, my biggest desire is to get closer to the Creator and this motivates me to want to fight my selfishness and practice more on the Golden Rule.
    One thing that I am currently working on myself is trying not to judge people. Until recently, I never noticed how quickly I made a judgement on someone or situation in my head. Whenever I do that, I think about the hurt and pain that I had when people judged me in my past and how I never want to do the same thing to others. I also told myself I don’t know the whole story and only the Creator is the judge, not me. It’s difficult, but I feel sort of freedom from practicing it.
    I absolutely love what you said about respect. This world would be so much more beautiful if we can just respect each other even though we have different opinions. I tell myself all the time that its not about right or wrong. Its just different. This is the most reason I don’t necessarily enjoy watching politics. Haha.
    Thank you again for sharing this most important rule in our lives. I wish more people take time to think about this.

    • Young you stated several things here that caught my attention. The first being that you are in a spiritual battle everyday. I certainly understand what you mean by that, but one thing I have found that has really helped me in mine is to call it something else. So instead of saying battle anymore in that sense, I changed to stating that I am working on becoming more spiritual. Making these little changes from a word that often has a negative connotation to it to one that is more positive helps me be in the alignment that I am striving for.

      As for not judging people you are 100% right with your statements here. We almost never have the whole story or picture to understand why someone else is doing whatever it is that they may be doing. Once you can understand that you are definitely one step closer to enlightenment.

      I too have given up on Politics in America. For years I just wanted someone that promoted themselves in an honest way and did not attack their competitors. If I were running for election I would never attack anyone and would not allow for any groups to do so that supported me. I would just love to see some integrity there.

  2. I agree with you on this completely James, we all have heard and known the golden rule but the most important part “applying” is done by very less number of people.
    The reason is we often interact with others with less awareness so, we end up behaving based on unconscious reactions.
    And yes as you said we must respect other people’s perspective even when it seems unreasonable from our perspective..to be right we don’t have to prove others wrong… Enjoyed reading.. Great Work!

    • Thank you Hari. This is one of the biggest things in my opinion that could revolutionize the world if more people just started following this one rule. Maybe it sounds crazy but if you really think about it, most great prophets from our past lived their lives by it.

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