The Golden Rule

Oliver - Harvard, Massachusetts
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: golden rule
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

How do I want to be treated?

Think about what you believe in. I have, I believe that if you treat people the way you want to be treated you will receive the same in return. Think about recent events in your life, and how you have treated people. I would guess that they have treated you the same way you have treated them. If you treat people the way you want to be treated there are many things that could possibly happen from both a positive and a negative standpoint.

From elementary school up until now I have had the golden rule drilled into my mind by teachers, parents, coaches, and even my peers. But what good is a phrase such as this to know without any knowledge of whether it is true. When I was in fifth grade, my class and I went on a trip up to New Hampshire. While there I was bummed out to find that I was separated from many of my friends for our activities group. I decided that I would complain continuously to our counselor until I was relocated to a group with my friends. This plan backfired on me and my counselor became extremely irritated and gave me a long disciplinary talk. I was very upset and decided that I would just shut my mouth and be obedient for the rest of the time. To my surprise my counselor approached me that night and said that he was very pleased with my effort to be polite and courteous and that he would transfer me to a group with all of my friends. This showed me that once I treated my counselor the way I wanted to be treated, with respect and maturity, he did the same in return for me.

With correlation to age and the commonly used phrase “respect your elders”, I take a strong and affirmative respect towards following this. I feel that there must be a clear distinction made when someone has a problem that they need help with as opposed to them just being a troublemaker. When someone like a teacher or coach confronts you about an issue or gives you a hard time, you need to understand that they are usually trying to help you, even if they are yelling and making you feel poorly about yourself.

During my sophomore year I was having problems communicating and getting along with a teacher of mine. Many other students in the class shared this same issue with me, and a negative vibe was going around classroom involving the teacher and us. When some of our grades began to slip we all had the option of seeing him for extra help during our free time or just studying on our own which was very difficult due to the material he assigned. I felt that it was time for me to start being positive and attending extra help sessions while being kind and considerate to my teacher. The change was apparent immediately when my grades began to climb and my teacher and I had a much better relationship. I changed by treating him the way I wanted to be treated and he did the same as well. This was something so very simple but at the same time seemed miraculous because of the transition from very negative to positive.