The Golden Rule.
This philosophy guides my life. I learned the hard way of the TRUE importance of The Golden Rule when I was in high school.
Laura was my best friend. Laura and I did everything together. We cruised “the drag” of our small, West Texas hometown. We dated the same guys, and had sleepovers. My family considered Laura a sister and daughter, and her family considered me the same way. We laughed. We cried. We fought. We made up. Then we laughed again.
One Thursday night, Laura and I had an argument. I stormed off, angry and hurt. After a couple of hours of stewing in my anger, I decided go home. As I approached the left turn to go home, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw Laura. In my anger, I turned around, flipped her “the bird”, and sped home.
The following morning, I had to be at school early. I was standing outside a classmate’s door when I heard the sound of a high speed car accident. My classmate and I thought about going to see the accident, but we were running late so we went straight to school.
My classmate and I were standing on the football field, that cool, crisp morning talking when I saw my younger brother walking up to me…his face red and swollen from crying. I looked past my brother’s shoulder and saw my mom standing on the track that circled the football field.
I ran to my mother, terrified of what had happened to make my brother cry. My mother refused to tell me what happened until we got to the car. I insisted she must tell me NOW.
Then, she said the words I will never forget as long as I live.
“Laura was killed in a car accident this morning.”
I collapsed on the track screaming bloody murder and sobbing so fiercely that I had to be dragged to my mother’s car by two classmates.
I cannot remember what our argument was about. I do remember feeling guilty for treating Laura so badly the night before. I felt the guilt of knowing I would never get to apologize to Laura.
The following Thursday, I picked up a copy of the town’s weekly newspaper. The police determined that Laura had been speeding (approximately 90 miles per hour) down a two-lane West Texas road. Another vehicle pulled out in front of her. They say she never saw it coming. There were no skid marks on the road. The photograph on the front page of the paper showed Laura’s mangled car. The engine of the car was in the trunk of the car. The front end of the car no longer existed. She was killed instantly.
I learned the TRUE importance of the Golden Rule, when Laura died that cool, crisp September morning. I believe that I should treat others as I want to be treated.
The Golden Rule…This, I believe, is the key to an unregretful life.
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