This I Believe

Scotty - Chesterfield, Virginia
Entered on November 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: golden rule
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An ancient, tried-but-true, motto one can live his life by in any situation is the Golden Rule: “Do onto others as you’d have done to you”. In every situation, I believe that everyone should put themselves in another person’s shoes and ask “How would they feel about this?” How did I come across this life lesson, this motto? It happened when I was very young.

I’ll never forget the first day of school in Second grade. My teacher was Mrs. Spellsberg, and she was very well -known throughout the school, especially by the students who heard stories about her and her extremely disciplinary methods. Naturally, as a little boy, I was excited to go to school and meet my new classmates. I was not, however, excited to meet Mrs. Spellsberg; I actually was dreading meeting her for fear of getting in trouble.

When I first walked into class, I looked around for my name on the many trapezoid tables that cluttered the middle of the classroom. I saw it on a table towards the back of the room and I immediately got excited- I was going to be as far away as possible from the teacher’s desk! Finally, Mrs. Spellsberg entered the room with a very passionate smile and said to us all: “Welcome to the Second grade, children!” It suddenly occurred to me that she might not be as bad as everyone made her out to be. Mrs. Spellsberg began her lesson on the first day by telling us how it was important to respect everyone. Her next statement was one that has never left my memory to this day. “There is this moral idea called the Golden Rule and it says that you are to ‘do onto others as you’d have done to you’.” After she had told us what the Golden rule, she began to write the definition on the chalkboard. Almost immediately Timmy Rowe raised his hand and asked Mrs. Spellsberg what exactly the Golden Rule meant. Of course, since we were but only the ripe young ages of 6 and 7, we all had no real idea of what Mrs. Spellsberg was telling us. Her answer was plain and simple, “treat others as you would like them to treat you, Timmy.” This statement really made me think. Was it possible to treat everyone the same? What if you treated others the way you wished to be treated by they didn’t treat you the same way in return? What a great place the world would be if everyone thought this way. Nonetheless, I soon found out treating others well led to many friends and lots of respect. Naturally, I didn’t really understand the full concept of the Golden Rule until I was a bit older. But because it sounded like the right thing to do, and it seemed to be the way my parents raised me, what Mrs. Spellsberg said that first day of Second grade really stuck with me, and the guidepost of my life still today.