This I Believe

zachary - plainfield, Indiana
Entered on November 15, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: golden rule

Hello, my name is Zach Goodbar and I believe in the Golden Rule. First off, I will introduce the topic at hand. The Golden Rule is commonly known as “Do unto others as you would want done unto you.” In preparation for this essay all I could think about was a story from my childhood. When I was younger, i used to play basketball with my neighborhood friends. We were all fairly decent and competitive. However, there was one kid who lived at the end of the street that just did not seem to get why we were so competitive. I remember on one specific day this kid actually scored on my buddy and won the game for his team. My buddy got very upset and pushed him on the ground. The kid started to cry and make a scene, so all of the neighborhood kids and i began to laugh and ridicule the kid. However, my mother, who is a very outspoken woman, heard us and came outside. She let all of us have it, and she yanked me up by my ear and took me inside. That was the day where i was introduced to the Golden Rule in a way i will never forget.

The Golden Rule is the basis for many peoples’ beliefs today. I noticed that it has been the basis in some politics as well. President Kennedy used the golden rule as the basis for his 1963 anti-segregation speech. In the speech he urged Caucasian individuals to put themselves in the shoes of these so called “second class citizens”. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also spoke on the golden rule throughout the civil rights movement. Knowing this, it is very important to realize that your actions do affect other people’s lives.

Take the popular movie Billy Madison for instance. Billy goes back to high school in order to graduate and he gets picked on and bullied just like he did to other students when he was there the first time. He realizes how mean it was so he calls one of the men he used to tease and apologizes. It is very evident that this man is screwed up from being bullied shortly after he marks Billy off his hit list.

I acquired some tips on how to follow the Golden Rule from the website titled “18 Practical Tips for Practicing the Golden Rule.” A few helpful tips would be to practice empathy daily, be more friendly and helpful, and to practice compassion.

Most importantly I urge you to put yourself in other people’s shoes when you think of ridiculing them, and realize a little bit of kindness can go a long way. If we want to see a change then we need to be the change. Edward Markham once stated, “We have committed the Golden Rule to memory, let us now commit it to life.” Thank you.