… also known as the Golden Rule. I’m sure it is nothing new to you. It is a very old rule. Throughout history, philosophers, psychologists, religions and societies have worded the rule in many different ways. But the basic and very simple truth behind it remains unchanged when it comes to living in peace and equality with one another.
“Treat others as you would like others to treat you”
“Do not treat others in ways that you would not like to be treated”
An Angry Man
As a teenager (a long time ago) I remember being in the car with my mum, driving back from my Grandparents farm. We passed through a little town where a hearse was entering the church grounds in preparation for the afternoon ceremony. The hearse was carrying the bodies of my mothers’ childhood best friend and her young daughter. My mother began to sob and slowed the car down as despair reduced her ability to control it effectively. I then remember the man who sped past us, blasting his horn and shouting out to my mother, “Stupid Bitch!”
It was an angry man who had taken those lives from my mother and now another angry man had completely disrespected and disregarded her in that moment of grief.
Two Radio Jocks
This past week, a nurse working in the exclusive King Edward VI Hospital in the UK received a call from the Queen and Prince Charles inquiring after the health of the Duchess of Cambridge. She promptly transferred them through to the correct ward where they were given information about the Duchess. Later, the nurse and hospital realised they had been victims of a hoax call from two Australian radio jocks pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles.
Those two radio jocks are now said to be ‘shattered’ and ‘bewildered’ with the news that the nurse committed suicide, seemingly unable to bear the very public humiliation and judgment initiated by their prank.
Applying the Golden Rule
The Golden Rule is about remembering the basics of human decency and having respect for one another at those times when our worlds collide. People … strangers … are not objects for our abuse or amusement. We should treat them as we would like to be treated.
For my part, I have always done my best (but not always with success) to apply the Golden Rule in my dealings with others – I was raised that way. But as my mental health has changed, so has the way I need to be treated. In some ways I think my problems have made me a more compassionate and tolerant citizen than I previously was.
If I see others as being the same as myself and therefore treat them how I would like to be treated … I see fragile creatures, delicately held together at times and completely unpredictable when it comes to facing the stress and pains of life.
I also don’t immediately assume strangers that inconvenience me are bitches or assholes trying to make my life difficult (even though in some cases they may be 😉 ). And, I have learned to never assume others are tough enough to bear abuse and humiliation.
Inquests will be held regarding the nurses death, commentators and journalists will make their judgements, practices at the radio station and hospital will change. But I wonder if there will be any finding regarding the need for greater application of the Golden Rule.
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