I mentioned this in a previous blog entry but thought it might be worth expanding upon. I’ve long held that there is only one rule necessary to live by, the Golden Rule, or Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s difficult to find other “rules to live by” that aren’t derivative of the Rule. Just look at the Ten Commandments (disregarding the purely religious ones) or How to Win Friends and Influence People or In Search of Excellence, all the advice is common sense if you put yourself in the place of the other person.
We all want to be treated with kindness and respect, so we should treat others with kindness and respect. We should not expect from others what we are unwilling to give. I’m reminded of the Beatles lyric from the song, The End:
And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make
It’s just the Golden Rule of love. Feel free to substitute the word “love” other words like “respect” or, sadly, “hate.”
We all want to be forgiven our mistakes. I recently heard someone paraphrase Emilce Quiroz’s quote “A core principle of restorative justice is that nobody is the sum total of their worst mistake,” with a simpler “no one is defined by their worst mistake.” Of course, the key to either of those phrases is “mistake.” If it is a mistake and not a deliberate act, I’m on board. If someone commits a horrible deliberate act but comes to sincerely regret it and take responsibility for it, forgiveness should be given. Again, it is simple. If you would expect to be forgiven under the same circumstances, you should forgive.
I think I’ve made my point.
To be honest, I’m hardly perfect at following the Rule, but I do try. I have a few stories where I failed to follow the Rule which I will relate over time.