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The Golden Rule

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This blog has nothing to do with weight loss or exercise. It does, however, deal with healthy living of the spiritual (not necessarily religious) kind. And I believe that being healthy spiritually is an important cog in the wheel of a healthy lifestyle.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the golden rule, you know, "do unto others as you would like them to do unto you."

My 7 year old son and I talk about the golden rule a lot, and we've added a couple of rules of our own for him (and me!) to remember. One of "our" rules, we call the "silver rule": "If you don't see it with your own eyes, or hear it with your own ears, then don't repeat it." The silver rule is about not gossiping, or being unkind to others by repeating things you don't even know are true about people, something that can really hurt innocent people.

Anyway, certain events have transpired that have made me think about how self-centered so many people in our world have become, and how common courtesy seems to have taken a total back seat to people getting, or taking, what they want when they want. Whether it's standing with that carton of milk that I need after work in the "12 Item Limit" grocery store line behind someone with a cartful of groceries; or watching people at the gym dripping wet and putting their sweaty hands all over the handles of the elliptical and then just getting off and not bothering to wipe it down; or seeing someone's child in a store knocking items off the shelves, and the parent not forcing the child to pick them up; or someone who cannot graciously accept an apology rendered from the heart; or watching cars try to "cut through" a line of cars in a funeral, I must say, it could be easy to be disappointed in the world we live in.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone else notices this type of thing. It would be easy to think they do not, but then I remember that most of the time, I am an observer of these types of things and I do not say or do anything about them, either. That is borne of several factors, I believe: 1) avoiding unnecessary confrontation, which in my mind is really about personal safety; 2) minding my own business; 3) not being in a position to do or say anything; 4) not knowing where to start to make a difference.. So, I guess what I'm saying is that of course others notice these things, but for reasons similar to my own, they observe, and no doubt feel the same feelings of outrage and helplessness to fix this descent into rude, selfish, anti-social behavior that seems to surround us. But I believe that our failure to act helps to fuel the disintegration of the fabric of acceptable behavior.

Well, I think the time has come to take the world back from the edge of this precipice. I'm not talking about taking any extreme, potentially dangerous action in the face of this kind of behavior. I'm talking about starting with my own little corner of the world. Remembering that that little old lady standing in the grocery store staring at products high up on the shelf might need some help reaching something, and offering to help; encouraging my son to look for opportunities to help others and to do it; taking a couple of hours every month and volunteering my time to some worthy cause; donating gently used items to local agencies that will get them into the right, needy hands.. The list of what we can do to make our world a kinder, gentler, place is endless. And I pledge, right now, to do more.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUNSET09
    It's all about the man/woman in mirror and going back to the basics. Some of us were taught better than that. Others, weren't or won't use it. I met a guy from my bible study session who stated, his motto is to take care of what God has given us, i.e. the Earth as he believes in picking up others’ trash as it is off of them and onto him. What a revelation for me. You hit on quite a few reasons/excuses we use to not get involved and my Mom would always, I mean always us the golden rule on us. Thank you for sharing this as many feel the same way you do whether it’s being guilty of doing or not! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2762 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Thanks Tina!! I never had a name for it, but I like it!! It is the Spark thing to do!! Starting small and building our confidence!! Thanks!!
    4028 days ago
    On a ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ note ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ that is not necessarily ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ musical ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ well... maybe NOT to other's ears, but a ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ symphony ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ to mine... I want to THANK YOU, for coming to my blog on that day when nothing was written there... and speaking up for me. IT WAS A VERY SPECIAL DAY... on that day. IT WAS........ ON YOUR........
    ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y* ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫
    and you wrote an answer to my empty blog. You wrote:

    ***I'll finish it:
    Dear Prudence,
    I am the wise, resourceful, imaginative, creative, talented, thoughtful, caring person who has been writing to you for months and months. At least you could RESPOND once in a while for goodness sake!!
    How was that?

    Your soft-hearted words of kindness left me in tears, T. Gentle tears of feeling sooo special and like my blogs were *wow* and that you loved them. THANK YOU!!

    I LOVE your silver rule, T!! I do see those things and that's one of the reasons WHY I've been socially challenged most of my life. It's EASY to deal with "it" IF I avoid "it" though... it doesn't help to get rid of "it" either.

    I too, will see what I can 'do' for others. I am starting a major downsizing of items, and... maybe I can get these to the hands that need the extra blankets, sheets, towels, dishes, furniture, books, clothes... even pretty bric-a-brac, knickknackery, nicknacks, whatnots, and helping make their homes, cozy too!

    You're the emoticon my friend!!
    ·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·´ *Annie*
    4028 days ago
    Tina, I couldn't agree with you more. My husband and I had this conversation about 6 months ago and are going along the same lines as you. By helping just one person a day is reaping benefits for all three of us.

    Thanks for bringing this to light.

    4028 days ago
    Amen!!!! It is so true about our world becoming so complacent that sometimes it is even hard to notice when someone has done a good deed, because we have become numb.

    I will speak out if I see something wrong, and yes, I don't always like the consequences but I have to do it or feel bad later for not standing up for others.

    I like the silver rule!!!
    4028 days ago
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