If you ask anyone what the Golden Rule is, they’ll likely tell you “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” or some version of this.
When you ask anyone where the phrase comes from, they’ll likely respond based on their religion. If they are Christian, they’ll say it’s from Jesus “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If they are any other religion, they’ll site their own religious texts. What is true about the Golden Rule is that it is given in all religions of the world, and dates back thousands of years. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule).
There must be something universally true about the Golden Rule to transcend time, religions, peoples and places. If it’s universally true, it must bring something of value, to each of us.
If I ask you, “How do you want to be treated?” what would you say? I would say, “I want to be treated well, with respect. I want to be loved.” I actually have never heard anyone say, “I want to be treated poorly, disrespected. I want no love.” We want to “receive” what the Golden Rule is saying to “give.” We want to be treated on par with the way any persons treat themself.
A hot topic in daily conversations is how someone has been mistreated or disrespected. When people are treated poorly, it’s pretty upsetting. The Golden Rule is a rule of reciprocity. Treating others well leads to being treated well. When someone strikes out against you or calls you names, it’s human nature to either retaliate in kind or to withdraw and ignore – “Fight or flight.” The Golden Rule asks us to suppress our human reaction and to pull from within our humanity to respond in love, regardless.
The Golden Rule works when you first treat yourself well. My 89-year-old mother spoke a truth today to the audiologist who had just fixed her 30 year-old hearing aid. The audiologist said, “You have treated your hearing aid well, like you have treated yourself.” Mother responded, “I love myself.” This is where the Golden Rule stated as “Love your neighbor as yourself” is truly wise. Loving yourself is the place to start. You can only love others and receive love from others to the extent you love yourself. To live out the Golden Rule in thought, word and deed starts with loving yourself, and treating yourself well. Think about it, “Would you want you as your best friend?”
Treat yourself as your own best friend. Treat others as your best friends. It leads to only good. And that never goes out of style.