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
First 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.
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?
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.