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I’m sure you’ve all heard of the “golden rule” which goes something like this: Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Over the years, that right there is one thing that I keep thinking could change the world if people would just learn to live by it, and do it every day of their lives.
If you think of all the things that are going on in the world, there’s one large common thread. People are doing things to others that they’d never want done to themselves. They’re being hypocrites every day of their lives. So many people, from the media and Big Religion right down to the common person, are treating other people in ways that they’d never want to be treated, and then acting like that’s an acceptable way to behave.
Let’s explore a couple of points. Religious zealots are one of the top problems all over the world. They express hate and bigotry to anyone who’s not like them. How would they like it if people treated them badly for their beliefs? How would they like it if they were being killed over their beliefs? How would they like it if they were being treated with hate and disrespect? If they treated others the way they want to be treated, there wouldn’t be all of this religiously based hate and war happening, because they’d love and respect others for who they are and let them have their beliefs in peace.
How about rape? If a person actually thought about how horrible it is to be disrespected and hurt and violated, do you think they could still do it? Would they ever want to be raped? If they could truly imagine a victim’s perspective, I think they’d be a lot less likely to do it. No one in their right mind would ever want to be raped, no one would want to be abused that way.
How about bullying? Now, I know that a lot of kids, and even adults, bully others because they were bullied by their parents or other kids, but that doesn’t make it right. They didn’t like it and didn’t want to be treated that way. They never should have been treated that way. If they could really grasp on to how much it hurts and what it does to people, they’d never do it to anyone else. They’d want to break the cycle and start treating people the way they wanted to be treated. Even when damage is already done, it’s never to late to change and protect other people from the same pain.
Just try to imagine what the world would be like if we all took the initiative to treat every person we encounter in the way that we want others to treat us. We want to be respected, so we would give respect. We want freedom, so we would allow others to have theirs. We want to be helped and supported, so we would give help and support. Just think about how good that world would be.
The thing is, we actually can make that world, but each and every one of us needs to take personal responsibility for our own character, our own words and our own actions. We each have to embrace and live by that rule of treating others the way we want to be treated. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, any one of us can take responsibility and be a better person. There’s absolutely no excuse for any of us not to.
It’s amazing how we’re taught the “golden rule” as kids and yet oftentimes the adults who teach us that don’t follow it themselves. Go figure.
Hypocrites, plain and simple. And how many times have you heard a parent say “Do as I say, not as I do”?