Regardless of where in the world you went to school, you were likely taught some form or version of the “Golden Rule”
The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity is the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated oneself. It is a maxim of altruism seen in many human religions, human cultures, and animal kingdoms.
In the simplest of terms the rule that advised you to simply treat others how you want to be treated. As children, this was don’t push on the playground or do your best to share with others in the classroom – little things that we as adults can now say, “Okay that’s easy enough.” Yet, interestingly enough the application of this rule as we peak and level into adulthood seems to somehow slip away. Here and there we may find ourselves forgetting to take in consideration the feelings, differing views/thought processes and beliefs of others.
My question is why?
Why is that the older we get the more stuck in our ways, closed minded, and prideful we become? What about life makes us lose that childhood innocence and willingness to forgive? I can remember being a child and quickly forgiving a friend that accidentally pushed me on the playground, yet now it’s not so easy to move forward and it’s something that I really don’t like about “adulting”.
I don’t like that people (whether I know them closely or not) seem to disregard my thoughts or feelings and carry on with their own self driven agendas. I don’t like that we don’t automatically treat others with respect, rather demand that they “earn it”. I don’t like that we feel we can look down or belittle someone else due to circumstances that may or may not be of their control. I don’t like that we allow our presumptions of people to prevent us from really trying to get to know them. I don’t like that it’s so easy to throw away relationships of any kind, without hope of resolving.
We hold grudges, we hurt others without intention of apologizing, and we can inherently be selfish. The older we get the colder (some) of us become.
I wish I could say I’ve never hurt or let someone down, but I have and on more than one occasion and in turn I’ve been hurt just as much if not more. I can reflect on the times when I said things I didn’t mean or said things I simply shouldn’t have. I’ve been mean to others out of spite, trying to get “even”, and trying to combat the crude behaviors that were directed towards me.
I am not perfect, but that’s what makes us human.
Our lives are a series of trial and error, trial and error.. we live and we learn (Sometimes it takes us more than a few tries to learn too!). Yet, while we will never be able to guarantee that we won’t hurt or disappoint someone else, what we can do is reflect. Reflection will allow us to not only hold ourselves accountable, but allow for growth. No one wants perfection really, rather effort.
Don’t allow life and the coldness that sometimes comes with it to steal the light and warmth within you – people are going to hurt you. Forever keep in mind the good ol’ Golden Rule.
Be kind, be receptive and simply treat others how you want to be treated.