“May I never quarrel with those nearest me, and be reconciled quickly if I should.” -Eusebius of Caesarea
Let’s talk about “The Golden Rule,” this link taking you to its Wikipedia entry. There you will find a host of information. Visit the link and allow yourself to gravitate to whatever there intrigues you. Really, take some time and do this. See what you are attracted to.
Okay, having done that, take a minute to consider what The Golden Rule means to you. I know that it sometimes gets a bad rap.
For me, it means really stopping to consider how I can most respectfully honor another person. That is my wish for what I’d like others to do for me. This doesn’t mean, though, that I will specifically treat someone else exactly how I want to be treated. It means I will try to treat them the way I think I should treat them, honoring the inner part of each of us, what one might call the soul.
To express this concept in a story, I am reminded of one of the great lessons I received early in my 30+ year teaching career.
I was talking to the mother of one of my students who was expressing her concept of how to raise children in the most “fair” way. She explained that she had just purchased a new winter coat for one of her sons and the other had complained, saying something to the effect of: “It’s not fair. You bought Jimmy a new coat but you didn’t buy one for me.”
The mom told me that she had bought Jimmy a new coat because he’d outgrown his old one. Billy, the complaining son, could still fit into his coat and it was perfectly fine.
She said she told Billy, “I’ll buy you a new coat when you need one.”
The logic and brilliance of this were immediately clear to me. As a parent, her philosophy is to provide what each of her children needs when they need it. To do otherwise creates competition and materialism. Treated this way, each of her children could relax, knowing that their needs would consistently be met. This was actually the most “fair” thing this mom could do, too.
Here’s another source of inspiration on the topic of the Golden Rule, should the above have been of interest to you. This one is an entry on the website zen habits and is called “18 Practical Tips for Living the Golden Rule.”
Reviewing these, you might find some personally fulfilling ideas about how to move through the world.
Lastly, the quote at the top of this message is from the “Prayer to Practice the Golden Rule” and is credited to Eusebius of Caesarea, the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine in or around the year 314.
I find the prayer to be one of the most concise guides to how I try to live my life.