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The Golden Rule Forgotten

Updated on February 9, 2011


Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you. Everyone has heard of the golden rule but it seems that we have forgotten to follow it. Why can’t folks just be nice? It seems that no one can see beyond his or her own nose anymore. No one cares about the other person. People are not concerned how their actions might affect others. I have even see people wearing T-shirts proudly displaying the logo “It’s all about me”. Sadly, this is the mindset of the American public nowadays.


At a convenience store today I overheard a man sternly scolding the check out clerk because the price of milk had increased. No one likes it when the price of something goes up but what gives this man the right to accuse the lady behind the counter for it. I suppose he thinks she went back to the refrigerator and marked up the price herself just to spite him. Or maybe he thinks she wrote to her congressman and demanded that he raise the price of milk at her store so this man would have to part with more of his hard earned cash. No, it is likely that this man didn’t think any of those things. He was simply irritated that the price of his gallon of milk cost more than he expected and he vented his frustration on the first person he saw who he knew couldn’t fight back. Did it cause her to lower the price for him? No. Did it cause the convenience store owner to decide that the price on the milk was too high? No it did not. Did it make him a big man? Not in anyone’s eyes but his own. Did it make him feel better? Perhaps it did...temporarily, but at what cost? Everyone else in the store now thinks he is a jerk.


How about the way people act when they get behind the wheel of their cars? The term maniacal comes to mind. It is amazing how someone with decent intelligence will do anything he can just to get in front of the car in front of him. Then, once that is accomplished, the car he just passed is forgotten and he is focused on catching up to, and passing the next car in front. Then when he reaches the stop light he sits there and those two cars pull up right behind him. All he has accomplished is to burn more fuel and cost himself more money, but he is in front. Wooh Hoo!


There is a 55 mile per hour, 2 lane road that connects 2 towns near here. This road is well traveled. Many times, as I have been driving along this road, (at or slightly above the speed limit), cars have pulled out into the path of oncoming traffic and passed me. Cars coming the other way are forced to drive off into the ditch to keep from colliding head on with the car that is passing me. If someone else wants to drive faster than me then I would rather he be in front, but how can one get in such a hurry as to take a risk like that? Even in my teenage days of thinking I was indestructible, I would never have pulled out into the path of VISIBLE ONCOMING TRAFFIC to pass someone else. It is insane! Yet it happens frequently. I have also been the oncoming traffic that has to swerve off into the ditch to keep from hitting one of these “kamikazes”. To this kind of driver I would say “Please don’t put me and my children in danger because you want to shave 15 seconds off your drive time.”


Folks just seem to feel entitled and that it is the other man’s responsibility to make it happen. Lawsuits are rampant. People are waiting to pounce on any slight misfortune to “cash in”. Remember years ago when someone spilled hot coffee in their lap, sued McDonalds for it, and won? Ridiculous! That person would have probably taken the coffee back and demanded a fresh cup if it had not been hot. McDonalds was known for its fresh hot coffee. Yet it was required to pay damages for the coffee having burnt the person who spilled it. Was the coffee too hot? Some say yes, some say no. It doesn’t matter. The fact is that someone saw a chance to cash in and take some money that wasn’t earned. I am sure a burn from a spilled cup of hot coffee is painful but this person was awarded some 2.8 million dollars! Excessive? You bet. There are similar stories everywhere. People are waiting for a chance to sue not because they want justice but because they want money. They are perfectly happy to take it from someone else without the slightest twinge of guilt. It is shameful.



As our country continues to move away from God and His word, the way people treat each other will continue to get worse. I think we have changed the golden rule to look more like this: “Do unto others before they can do unto you”. This doesn’t work folks. We need to rethink how we treat others.


The next time you go to the convenience store and the young lady behind the counter, who is just trying to make ends meet, smiles at you and says “have a nice day”, smile back at her and let her know you appreciate the gesture. When the waitress brings you your entrée and something isn’t quite right, you can call her back to the table and let her know the problem, but do it with courtesy and dignity. Remember, at that moment she is at work and you probably are not. Whether or not she (or someone else) made a mistake doesn’t matter. Mistakes happen and if you are polite and nice about it you will not only get better service but you will feel much better about yourself afterward. The mistake was not made to cause you grief and you have no right to criticize and scold her for it. Why ruin her day and make her cry just because things aren’t absolutely perfect for you. Do you think she always feels like smiling at you? Do you think her job is perfect and she should always be smiling just because she has such a job? If you do then maybe you should apply for her job. The fact is that her life isn’t perfect either so give her a break. When you get up to leave, don’t forget the tip. Did you know that minimum wage is less for a waitress then it is for most other folks? She needs that tip. Please be generous. After all, she has worked hard to make sure your leisure time was pleasurable.


BE NICE (ever heard that before?)

Did your mom ever tell you to “be nice”? Try it sometime. It will make you feel good and you just might lift someone up who is really feeling down. Wouldn’t you want someone else to treat you the same way? God’s son Jesus said the greatest of all the commandments is to love ones neighbor. If we all treated each other with love then we would have little need for laws. You can’t cheat, fight, kill, or steel from someone and show love for them at the same time.


It isn’t always easy to show love for your fellow man. It wasn’t easy for Jesus to hang on that cross and die for our sins knowing that He didn’t do anything to deserve death yet He did it anyway because He loves us. In light of that we have no excuse for walking all over each other. Let’s be nice.



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    • MrGreywolf38 profile image

      MrGreywolf38 6 years ago

      Sounds typical. It is sad that such a lawsuit is not laughed out of the courtroom. Thanks for the comment smurfmurph.

    • profile image

      smurfmurph 6 years ago

      So true! Some time ago, I was on a jury. The case was to decide whethor or not to award a large sum of money to a woman who was suing a local grocery store. The offense of which the store was accused by this "victim"? Detaining her until the police arrived after she was caught SHOPLIFTING! The manager had even declined to press charges out of pity for her pre-teen children whom she had involved in the theft! How grandly she repaid his kindness. Would that America would be touched by a revival of common etiquette. Keep up the good work. Remind the world of a gentler time.

    • MrGreywolf38 profile image

      MrGreywolf38 6 years ago

      Yes we do need to go back. Too bad we can't back up about 100 years and try again this time not pushing God out.

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 6 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      We need to go back.