The Golden Rule — treat others as you wish to be treated — is a sentiment common in cultures and religions across the world. Do you follow it?
The idea is a simple one, easily stated, and easily understood. And yet, it can be very difficult to practice.
There are many reasons why you might not follow the Golden Rule. They might vary from self-interest, fear, or even kindness.
For instance, you might well think that you want someone to come to your aid if you are in trouble. However, fear might prevent you from helping someone else in a dangerous situation.
In another situation, you might tell a small lie to spare the feelings of someone you love, even if you think you would want the truth in return.
Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What are our responsibilities to others?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘Are we too busy?’
In our state and national politics, we see the Golden Rule violated frequently. One elected official, for example, may vote against offering aid to another state in a disaster, and yet accepts the helping hand when the disaster befalls them. No doubt you can think of numerous other examples.
There are endless opportunities to treat others the way you wish to be treated. In fact, just about every interaction with someone else is such a chance. It might be face-to-face, online, or from hundreds or thousands of miles away. It might include actions, speech, or even thoughts about someone else.
Can you think of notable examples where you followed the Golden Rule? Are there times when you didn’t?