The Golden Rule. Everyone knows it, or should know it. It is the one rule that sums up all great ethical teachings. Do to others what you would have them do to you. How many times have we heard someone, verbatim, repeat this line after having something unsavory done to them?
I believe this rule is supreme, but I have two ideas I would like for
you to ponder. The first idea is in the rule which has been tagged, “The Silver Rule.” The silver rule states “Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.” This rule focuses on the negative aspect of what not to do while the Golden Rule focuses on the positive. Why then is the Golden Rule superior? Think about it in terms of psychology. What we focus on is what we’ll eventually do. So by focusing on the good that we would like to see we program our minds to display what’s good. But with the Silver Rule, the focus is on negative behavior. And what we place our focus on is what we’ll produce.
Guess that’s why it’s inferior to the Golden Rule. I wonder however, what would be the Bronze Rule. I guess the bronze rule would read, “ONLY, do to others what they have done to you.” Sounds good to me because this could include both good and bad. But that’s not the second idea I wanted you to think on.
The second idea concerns the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule doesn’t actually state that it’s concerning positive acts. We only assume that it’s concerning positive acts. Who doesn’t want others to do good unto them? Albeit, what if someone is sadistic and masochistic? Wouldn’t they be in line with this rule? Just a thought.
But the overall thought to ponder is this. When a person does something to you that is disdainful, don’t instinctively believe that they are breaking the rule. Most people don’t realize that in the recesses of their mind, they truly do want what they’re dishing out. How can this be? Think about the abused woman who continues to go back to the abuser. She may think she doesn’t want to incur the abuse, but in the recesses of her mind she may feel less than adequate and unworthy of anything better.
Am I saying it’s her fault that she is being abused? Of course not, but for her to think she doesn’t want to be abused but finds a way to stick around is an indicator that she approves of the abuse. She secretly thinks she deserves nothing better so she finds a way to incur what she thinks she deserves. So it is with anyone who harms other people whether verbally, physically, mentally, or emotionally. The person receiving the disdainful actions may think that this person is breaking the rule, but stop and think if this is so. They may be fulfilling the rule better than you are.