Are you aware of the way you treat others?
“Try to treat others the way you want to be treated.” Referred to as the golden rule, this is something we learn in elementary school or maybe even as early as we learn to talk, but is it something we carry on into adulthood? I can honestly say that I live by this proverb daily but, how common is it to truly heed to this statement? And, should there be a debate on whether or not this is a vital code of conduct?
If you said “yes” to the second question, the key word here is ‘try’. Personally, I don’t like to be told that a certain way of living is superior to another, especially when I am completely satisfied with my life as it is. But, when you really think about it, don’t we all want to be treated with kindness, respect, and courteousness? Imagine a world where everyone regarded each other as brothers and sisters. Where we all trusted and respected one another. Can you imagine how much more confident and happy we could be and the positive affect it could have on the people you come across? This belief is definitely not a cut and dry ‘just do it’ kind of statement. It’s a genuine practice that can eventually become a natural way of living.
For those of you who are interested, there is a fundamental process I apply in my daily life. It involves the following:
- Trying to suppress my ego. The ego tells us that we undeniably deserve all of the respect and attention from the people we come in contact with.
- Trying to forgive those who don’t follow this principle of behavior. Maybe even forgiving because there are factors that affect the way they are treating me that we are unaware about. This is not easy, but forgiving helps us grow beautifully in the end.
- Trying to truly understanding each individual’s situations. Sometimes, the positions we find ourselves in can dominate our rational thinking, especially when it comes to considering other people and their feelings.
“Do unto to others as you would have them do to you.”
Not everyone holds this motto as truth.
I asked my mom how she perceived this Golden Rule. Interestingly enough, she believes that some people should not automatically be treated in this demeanor. She proposes that some people may actually want to be handled in a distinct way (with assertiveness or with grace) and this can be judged by the way they treat you or others. She mentions that there is really no way of knowing for sure that one person wants to be treated a certain way, so, in this case, we should observe how that individual is treating the people around them and consider that this could possibly be the way they were raised or may be the treatment they often receive from others. And that satisfies them.
Getting my mother’s point of view was thought-provoking. I realized that not everyone feels the same way about this rule of thumb. After speaking with her, I came across an article advising that we should not treat others the way we want to be treated. It essentially explains what my mother was trying to get across, which is that “Your way is not the best or only way.”
If you don’t take anything from this post, try to keep this in mind:
Ultimately, the way you treat others is a direct reflection of YOU.
Let’s have a conversation. What do you think? Is it fair to do to others as WE want done to us (whether it be with kindness or the opposite)? Or, should it simply be protocol to respect one another equally regardless of what we’d prefer?