The ethical display of reciprocity that states “treat others as you yourself would like to be treated“ - that is the golden rule. That simple quote is a guiding light to keep us balanced in kindness and respect as we show up for ourselves and our community.
However, during times of stress, anxiety, and lack, we may forget the golden rule. It’s not so simple anymore.
It is very easy to switch into self preservation mode when things start to look desperate. We may look solely to our well being and unintentionally ignore the needs of others.
I get it.
I've been guilty of that - self preservation - as I’m sure you have as well. This way of thinking also applies to work ethic.
What inspires your work ethic? What motivates you to show up authentically each day as the best version of yourself? Are you in a role because the title makes you look good or because it empowers you to serve others well?
We set goals, measure our accomplishments, and we gain satisfaction from them. How much of that satisfaction received from meeting our measurements was based on self-serving?
What I've re-learned about living the golden rule is that if you want to be more compassionate, more patient, more disciplined, (whatever outward behavior you are trying to inhabit or exhibit) don’t “try harder”. Don’t set measurement goals to serve
(example - “I’m going to say good morning to at least two people each day..”)
That is self-serving.
To live the golden rule -
Start with self - centeredness; then disrupt it
When you observe a behavior you’ve exhibited (grabbing the last 4 bottles of water in a time of lack..) ask yourself “though this serves me well in the moment, how does it impact my family/community?” Start with self and end with others.
Surrender your double mindedness
Be honest with yourself on why you’re following the golden rule. It cannot be self serving. It’s not a behavior you check of a list and then pat yourself on the back for it. It should be a behavior brought on by awareness; not pressured.
Love your neighbor as yourself
I must confess this is a tricky one to pull off in an age of heightened awareness to “stranger danger”. My neighbors barely speak to each other and keep to themselves. It’s hard to gain trust and convince that you’re reaching out from a place of kindness and real concern until things get desperate. Last Thanksgiving in the evening, someone in my neighborhood left their car door wide open. On all the doors I knocked on, only one couple answered and confirmed it was not theirs. I eventually locked up the car myself and called it a night.
So no real magic advise here - take that first step and hope for the best.
I believe when we choose to live The Golden Rule we choose to see the world as a reflection of ourselves. And when we do so, we treat her with a little more kindness.
Have an Inspired Monday!