Growing up, I spent summer days running around with the kids in my neighborhood. We had great times swimming at the pool, running in a game of tag, or playing kickball. My younger brother always wanted to join in on these activities and whenever I had the chance, I told him he was too little and better go home. Sometimes my brother would enjoy the game from the sidelines and other days he would be upset and head home to tell Mom the story. At home one day my mom sat me down to discuss my behavior towards my brother, “Now how would you feel if someone had treated you that way?” Ouch. I knew that it was never fun to be left out. That lesson has stuck with me and it still shapes my decisions today. I believe in treating others how you would like to be treated. I believe in the golden rule.
Girls are mean—teenage girls, college women, and PTA moms all can be very catty. Living with girls, I have been surrounded by gossip. It is painful to have a person’s critical words wander through the grapevine and back to your ears. Now these things are almost always petty, but it is difficult for me to ignore them. Every time I am tempted to join in I remember how cruel words can be, and I stop myself from sinking to that level. I think about the golden rule.
Trying to live my life this way has allowed me to be more understanding, more polite. It has prevented me from acting maliciously. At restaurants I am understanding when mistakes are made. I have worked as a waitress and learned that when customers are angry with you, it dramatically increases all of the existing problems. After an exhausting day of classes, work, and meetings, I greet the bus driver and thank him for the ride. When my roommate has slept through her alarm, I wake her up for class. It’s the little things that make the world more pleasant. It’s these things that I would definitely appreciate, so I offer them to others. I try to be conscious of the golden rule.
I am grateful that this kindergarten lesson was stressed so deeply in my home because it has shaped my personal goals. I would like very much to have a career that gives back to the community and helps those in need. If I were living in poverty or did not have access to proper education, I would want someone to work to help me. I would like to be that someone and do it through my work.
Perhaps the reason the golden rule has been around forever is because we constantly need to be reminded of it. We have such a hard time living by it. And if we ever could reach critical mass in living it, the world would be a better place. It’s a goal worth having, and I want to do my part toward achieving it. I believe in the golden rule.
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