The Golden Rule

Caroline - Wellesley, Massachusetts
Entered on March 8, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

“Come on Caroline, you’re always so late for school,” urged my stepmother-to- be. At which point, I would turn to my father and plead, “Dad, if you ask me she’s being kind of harsh. Can you believe that?” I took every opportunity to make my soon-to-be stepmother look bad. Somehow I couldn’t get my dad to see her as the interloper I saw through my eyes, and it just caused chaos. Through many experiences, I’ve learned that kindness is the key to peace. The kindness doesn’t have to be a reflection of liking someone; it just has to be sincere.

I was twelve years old when Julie officially became a part of my life, albeit against my will. My dad had had many girlfriends in the past and none of them had ever worked out. I hated to see my dad paying attention to anyone other than me. We are so close that nothing can tear us apart, or so I thought until this upsetting dinner where my father informed my sister and I that he and Julie were getting married. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! As Julie showed off her diamond ring my head started pounding and I thought I was going to throw up all over her dress. “That’s great!” I exclaimed sarcastically. How could he do this to me? I was going to lose my best friend to that evil blond woman. I felt the hot tears rushing down my cheeks faster than a raging river. I had to make her life miserable. I had to drive her away. My dad was going to pay for this.

“She doesn’t like me dad”; “She yelled at me for no reason.” I tried to find anything I could to turn him against her, but nothing was changing his mind. Soon, it was one day away from the wedding. I was in the car with my dad and we were arguing about how Julieanne wouldn’t let me wear my hair curled for the wedding. Suddenly, he pulled over the car and looked me straight in the eyes. “Do you really not want me to get married?” he asked me, “because if you don’t, then I’ll call off the wedding.” I was shocked by this and left speechless. I had almost forgotten that I was most important to my dad and he would do anything for me. What had I done? I was about to make him give up someone he loved and I was pushing my dad further away than we had ever been.

During that instant, it hit me; I don’t have to love Julieanne, I don’t even have like her, but I could be nice. If I had just been nice to her from the beginning, then the problems and issues I caused could have been avoided. In fact, if everyone was just consistently nice and kindness a common virtue, then the world would be a much better place and there would be no conflicts.