Do Unto Others - The Golden Rule
This past Christmas Eve, I spent quality, family time with my father and younger sister in Texas as we made plans to attend a get-together that was hosted by one of our extended relatives. This was a rare privilege for me. Since I live over 1,000 miles away from my family, I rarely have the opportunity to simply be with them.
My father, who hates being late, insisted that we leave his house at a certain time. On our way over there, my sister, who hates being early, continually mumbled under her breath about how she was pretty sure he was confused about the time, and we were going to be extremely early.
Turns out, she was right; we were nearly an hour early. By the time we got over there, they hadn’t even finished setting up. None of us wanted to sit in their living room doing absolutely nothing, so my father drove around for a bit before deciding to go to the neighborhood drug store to pick up a few items.
Since neither my sister nor I needed to pick up anything, we patiently waited in the truck. All of a sudden, we heard someone blaring their car horn. It wasn’t a quick little beep beep to remind someone that the light had turned green. It was a blaring hooooooonk that cause both my sister and me to turn to see what was going on.
As a small, economy sized vehicle was in the midst of making a u-turn, a large SUV behind the little car also wanted to make a u-turn. Apparently the driver in the car was going a little too slow for the driver of the SUV, so the second driver became extremely agitated and blared on their horn.
Since the first driver was being rushed in a most rude manner, she appeared to make her turn a little slower than she normally would have, and I honestly can’t say that I blame her…I probably would have done the same thing. After completing her turn, she continued to go on her way. However, the driver of the SUV wasn’t done. She pulled up beside the smaller car, rolled down her window and began to say something to the first driver.
At that point the other driver joined in the conversation, too. We were too far away to hear what either one of them were saying, but based on their facial expressions and hand gestures, they weren’t wishing each other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The passenger of the economy car became so agitated with something the driver of the SUV said, that he threw a twenty-ounce bottle of what appeared to be some type of juice toward the SUV. The bottle didn't hit the SUV. It was pretty obvious that both drivers were very irritated.
The SUV turned in to the parking lot where we were, but the driver was moving at an extremely low rate of speed. Neither one of us could figure out why they were going so slow, until we realized that the driver of the economy car had pulled into the adjacent parking lot and gotten out of her car, so the ladies could continue their verbal altercation in the parking lot of the drug store.
My sister and I thought, "What in the world is going on?" Names were called, and four letter words were definitely used. Before returning to her Carnac driving away, the driver of the economy car said, "Well, you should've thought about that before you started sitting on your horn."
My sister and I watched the driver of the SUV, as she slowly drove away - rounded the parking lot. Though we really had no idea why she was driving so slowly we figured that she wanted to make sure the people from the other car were really gone because she didn't feel too safe getting out of her car if they were still in the vicinity. Maybe she was a little afraid and thought they were going to e waiting to attack her once she exited the drugstore.
However, we quickly learned that we were so wrong. We saw that lady take out her phone, dial a number, and turn around as if she were in pursuit of the other vehicle . There's really no way for us to know who she was calling, but we figured that she was calling the police to make a complaint about the very people she had provoked.
It was unbelievable. Neither of those women knew what they were dealing with. We were in Texas for crying out loud, the place where tons of people carry guns. Either one of them could have been packing, so to speak. How could they be certain that the other driver wasn't going to snap and use their car as a weapon?
This will probably sound a little crazy, but that situation caused me to think about life.
Relating It to Life
Years ago, it seemed that society lived by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Those words of advice influence every decision people made. Shoppers had a tendency to wait patiently in line without doing a great deal of huffing and puffing because they didn’t want people reacting that way to them if they happened to be the cause of the hold up. Strangers wouldn’t even think about hurling insults at one another because they knew they wouldn’t appreciate being insulted. Co-workers refused to gossip about their colleagues because they didn’t want people talking about them behind their backs. And drivers would have thought of leaning on their horn because the driver in front of them was making a u-turn a little too slow.
If everyone would make a concerted effort to really and truly follow the Golden Rule, there would be fewer fights and less violence.
Tips for Doing unto Others
1. Walk a Mile
There’s a saying about walking a mile in someone’s shoes. No one really seems to know who said it first or what the original saying is. Some say, “You’ll never understand a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.” Others say, “Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Still others say, “Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.” Regardless of the original saying, there is a common thread in each variation: understanding. One of the major guidelines for Doing unto Others is having a little bit of understanding.
2. Compensate for Differences
There is a reason why people do what they do, say what they say and behave the way they behave. People typically get extremely frustrated with other because others don’t act the way people think they should. However, Doing unto Others entails compensating for differences – giving people the space an freedom to be who they are.
3. Be Especially Patient and Kind
Sometimes a little patience with a touch of kindness can go a long way. No one likes standing in line at the store behind someone who has a cart full of merchandise when he’s standing there with two items. It’s especially irritating when they discover the need for a price check, and the person doing the price check acts as if she has all the time in the world. Doing unto Others means making a conscious decision to be patient and kind in trying times.
4. Take the Back Seat
Doing unto Others means rather than do things out of selfish ambition one considers others better than herself. That doesn’t mean that people should become doormats for people and allow themselves to be trampled upon. It simply means the people realize that the world does not revolve around them and make the decision to look out for the interests of others.
Do unto Others is more than a cute little saying for kids. That little phrase really does have the power to transforms one’s outlook on like. I challenge readers to make an effort to do unto other for a week – seven days in a row – as see how amazing they feel.
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