Friday, February 25, 2011

The Golden Rule in the Outer Circle

Most of us have heard the “Golden Rule” growing up, whether in the context of good manners or in terms of Religion or plain old getting along. Do unto others as you would have done to you.  Across the board we all know this.  We all know the “Golden Rule”. It is even taught in schools. 

An acquaintance ignores you. Or worse a stranger insults or yells at you.  Our first reaction is probably along the lines of “What the heck was that about?  I don't even know that person!” (or know that person very well).  We have all had this happen.  If you drive a car or walk near traffic it happens a lot.  People with road rage.  Is this our issue? No, obviously not.  Perhaps we have cut them off or didn't see a car coming and a horn begins to sound.  Do we take this personally?  No, we don't. Why? Because we take the fact that we don't know the person into consideration. We take into consideration that if that person is not important to us then neither are their comments.

I really want to be clear about this and I will use Wayne Dyer's quote to exemplify “What people say (or do) is their Karma.  How you react is yours.” Or if you prefer, how you respond. 

The level of importance that you place on something someone says should be directly related or equal to the importance of the person in your life.  It should not be the same emotion when Joe Blow on the street says “ You're an idiot!” as to when a spouse or family member says it. That does not make sense. It is irrational.

Instead of focusing on what other people need to do (change how they treat people), which is a way of trying to control others (an impossibility) we need to shift the focus to what we can do and how we choose to treat people in response.  Reaction is rapid fire. It is rapid retaliation. If we respond positively and  in a non-calculating, compassionate way, the situation is bound to improve.  The way in which we reply can make all the difference.

We all strive to be the best people we can be.  We all strive to reach new heights in understanding.  We cannot change someone by telling him or her, how or what we want them to change.  We can only lead by example and show them. Part of having a strong self-confidence and high self-esteem is that we can learn from people and not always have to be the one that is right. For people to change a thought pattern, long held belief, or way of being, they have to want to do that.

No one can make another person want to be happy by showing them negativity and anger.  How can we show that?  What can we do? What makes people want that  is feeling good, feeling happy.  Knowing this we start to learn that the only thing we can control is ourselves, our level of energy or self confidence. Knowing this, the Golden Rule becomes our responsibility to implement.  “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

It doesn't make the rude, cruel or angry things that other people say right.  In a perfect world we would all follow that 'Golden Rule'.  This isn't a perfect world.  We can however follow that rule ourselves. We can exemplify the positive and not give the negative the fuel it needs to survive.

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