By in Personal

The Golden Rule Challenge

A friend and I were discussing the 'Golden Rule,' about treating others as you would like to be treated. In theory this is a great rule to live by. In reality it can be hard to put into practice. For anyone who is a Christian or has Christian roots the golden rule is well known as; do unto others as you would have them do unto you . In Jewish tradition; what is hateful to yourself do to no other man . Interestingly, the Golden Rule goes back centuries and can be found in many cultures, beliefs and religions, predating both the Christian and Jewish faiths.

The Golden Rule shows a profound human unity whether we see it or not. Regardless of where we come from, our religion, our faith or our beliefs this simple rule transcends all differences. It brings us together, and unites us, reminding us that we aren't as separate from each other as we think. From a morality standpoint it gives us a compass, a guide to living a good, moral, happy life. If more of us followed this simple rule there certainly would be less strife, hostility, violence and hate in our world.

Yet, as simple as it is, the Golden Rule isn't as easy to follow and act on. We tend to let daily life, stress, pride, competitiveness, anger, hurt, or bitterness towards others get in the way. Someone snaps at us, we snap back. If we feel threatened we fight back. We feel overwhelmed or grumpy and forget our manners at times. People are a melting pot of different personalities and characteristics, making it easy to clash.

My friend and I decided that for one week we would focus on the Golden Rule and put it into practice. We would challenge ourselves to remember it in all our interactions and use it, no matter what the situation or person involved. As we both follow the rule to a certain degree, we figured it would be easy. I've only been an hour into it and found that I almost didn't use it once already.

I'm looking forward to meeting my friend next Saturday to see how it works. I have a feeling that it will enrich my life, and force me to think outside the box. What about you, do you think you could do the challenge for a week? I think you'll be surprised at how easy it is said then done.

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Feisty56 wrote on September 6, 2014, 9:12 PM

Yes, I'm willing to take on this challenge. As a general rule, I try to treat others with kindness and respect, but imagine I will encounter many episodes in 7 days that may help me to learn more about myself and how I interact with others.

inertia4 wrote on September 6, 2014, 9:15 PM

LynnWrites I believe the golden rule is hard to put into place. We all have our selfish sides. That is always an issue and a problem. As for different cultures and religions, some animosity comes from that as well. I have seen religions conflict with one another. And other cultures as well. So in essence, prejudice gets in the way of the golden rule. We can try to use it and apply it, we even have good intentions also. But something somewhere goes wrong.

LynnWrites wrote on September 6, 2014, 9:41 PM

Cool, ...I'm finding its not so easy!

LynnWrites wrote on September 6, 2014, 9:44 PM

I agree with that, . On a personal scale it is hard enough, on a world scale even harder. Prejudice, cultural differences all make it hard...and it seems to go against our human nature. I'm finding it's not so easy, but I'm going to give it a whirl just see if I can!

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on September 6, 2014, 10:21 PM

That's a good challenge, and a practice that is much lacking today.

MegL wrote on September 7, 2014, 7:29 AM

This is a great rule to try to live by, but as you say, not always easy to put into practice. One saying I heard many years ago that helps me to put it into practice is "We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it." It was only when I looked it up that I found it was a Stephen Covey saying, hadn't realised that before. I have always taken it to mean that if we are in a grumpy mood, then we see everyone else as being grumpy and react to them AS IF everything they said was meant to be something grumpy, even if they did not mean it that way. Conversely, if we are in a sunny mood we see everything AND hear other people's words AS IF they also were in a sunny mood and so we put the best possible construction on what others say and do. Of course, if someone comes along and deliberately tries to hurt me, I will of course respond appropriately!

Ruby3881 wrote on September 12, 2014, 4:59 AM

I tend to prefer a rule of thumb that encourages us to treat people how THEY would like to be treated. I prefer not to assume that what I want is what they will desire, and so I'd rather make an effort to have a dialogue about their wants and needs instead of making assumptions. I suppose that too often people have made assumptions about what I ought to want or feel, and they were way off base. So now I'm sensitive to the whole "do unto others" mentality. In theory it ought to be a simple question of respect and loving your neighbour, but we humans complicate things.