This I Believe

Leslie - Youngstown, Ohio
Entered on February 21, 2009

I remember how much I Loved the book – even the title – “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” by Robert Fulghum. Well, I can go back even further than that: To church. Actually, Sunday School. “All I Need To Know Is The Golden Rule.” That I learned in Sunday School, when I was 2 or 3.

Regardless of what news/horror/tragedy I’m listening to on NPR News, or watching on T.V., I always remember, That could never have happened, applying The Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule is known by most, but practiced by very few. The Golden Rule may be the most quoted Scripture, the most quoted Words of Christ. But The Golden Rule is missing in action in daily life everywhere.

“Whatsoever” – Yeah, palpate that! “Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye, even so – uh huh – “even so” to them.” Yowza!

That’s The Golden Rule; so-called, because it is more valuable than gold. All the money in the world won’t bring back a Loved One who has died. But The Golden Rule would have prevented The Holocaust.

There’s The Bronze Rule: “I’ll do to you before you do to me.” If it’s picking up European milk chocolate, then that’s fine. But it’s usually not practiced in such positive ways. It’s usually threatening, if not punitive. “I’ll use you before you use me.”

Ah, but it gets worse: Much worse. I believe most of the world today – & certainly, the country that spawned, sanctioned, & swoons over, billionaires, regardless of why or how billionaires become/became billionaires, lives, & is now dying by,

The Brass Rule. So, what’s The Brass Rule?

The Brass Rule is, “I’ll abuse you before you abuse me.” The sports’ expression, “The best defense is a good offense,” comes to mind. If it’s sports, maybe that’s not a bad idea.

But, when it’s not a game, when people’s incomes, residences, & investments are at stake, then ask today’s victims how much they wish they had dealt with people who follow, not The Bronze Rule, not The Brass Rule, but only & always, The Golden Rule.

There may be a renewal of Christ’s Teachings, in The Holy Bible, now that “usury”’s used up nearly everyone & everything. Primarily, because “usury”’s in the news every night. But you will seldom hear, “usury.” You’ll hear, “crisis”, “downturn”, or “economy.”

My wish for The Greatest Depression – & that’s what it’s been to me for years – is that America, & the world, will regain consciousness. I believe we’ll all be better off when, instead of record numbers of millionaires & billionaires, & record homelessness, hunger, & slavery, there are no more billionaires: Instead, no homeless or hungry Animals or people, either.

I believe it’s time for Americans to wake up & grow up. We don’t need “idols.” We need Ideals. We don’t need to eat for a dozen, & brag about what’s wasted. We don’t need a dozen drinks at a sitting. We need to consume, gratefully, for one person: Ourselves. And we need to replace going after greed with meeting others’ needs.

Houses were never intended to be flipped like pancakes. The rich get richer by making the poor poorer. And, in this case, creating a class of poor, we used to call The Middle Class. Does anyone remember?

We don’t need fireworks on The 4th of July. We need to make sure everyone has warm furnaces, if not fireplaces. We don’t need to overspend overeating, & then overspend not getting thinner. We need to remember another of Christ’s Teachings, “Temperance in all things.”

I believe the reason the country with the most wealth has destroyed its own physical & financial health is summed up in 3 words: Greed Over Need. And greed hasn’t served anyone well. I wish everyone could have luxury. But I’ve learned the difference between luxury & necessity. It’s perceived luxury to be greedy. But it’s necessity to meet the needs of the truly needy. And that’s the Wealth in which I most believe. That Wealth can never be taken away; & that Wealth multiplies in the next life.

We have all made mistakes, & we always will. But to intentionally profit from another’s mistake is temporary, financial gain, in exchange for the loss of what really matters in life. And what really matters in life is what breathes.

I believe good can come of the worst things. But, good isn’t served up like a side dish. Goodness must be a decision, & acted upon, daily. I believe, if we pray, & ask God’s forgiveness, this country can actually become what it has always purported to be, & so much more. But the biggest change will have to be exchanging The Bronze Rule, & The Brass Rule, for The Golden Rule. I, for one, can’t wait to see that day!