Treat people how you want to be treated essay help
Jun 15, 2018
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
This is the golden rule. The core message of nearly every significant spiritual text. The foundation upon which political ideologies and laws are built.
It’s very simple in theory. If everyone followed it, laws would be unnecessary. Quality of life would skyrocket for everyone. We can all objectively agree that the more people who follow this philosophy, the better the world we live in becomes. But how many people do you know that actually make a true effort to practice it in real life?
If we all believe it, why don’t we all do it?
I believe there are two main things holding us back: Laziness and fear.
Laziness holds us back in the form of short-term thinking. Deep down, we know what is best for us and for the whole alike. But sometimes, we just don’t feel like putting in the effort to do it. Taking the time to really think about how another living being might experience reality in order to empathize with them is too often an unfortunate casualty of fast-paced cultures.
Fear holds us back in much more profound ways. We might not do the right thing even when we know it’s wrong, because it goes against the beliefs of the groups that accept us.
When people keep their mouths shut and follow a chain of command during systematic human rights abuses, they likely know what they are doing is wrong. They are likely terrified of ending up in the crossfire themselves, and are too often willing to compromise their beliefs to avoid this fate. Better you than me, we think (as we abdicate ourselves of responsibility). This is how groupthink, or blind obedience, ruins entire communities and societies.
In friendships and romantic relationships, this issue takes the spotlight. Every miscommunication, every petty fight, every act of unfaithfulness is the partial result of being too lazy and fearful to go outside of oneself to see the world through another person’s eyes.
Sometimes we will even put on a good act and lie to ourselves to pretend as if we are looking at someone else’s life through their eyes, but we use rosy colored glasses. This is false empathy, or fempathy. This allows us to justify overlooking the difficult parts, the things we’ve been lucky to never have to deal with, that cause their perspective to be different from our own.
This can create a downward spiral within a culture. I need to cover up to prevent myself from being hurt again. I won’t take down my walls. I’ll hurt you before you hurt me.
There’s only one way I know to break this chain. That is to be vulnerable. To treat others the way you want to be treated, even when you highly doubt that they will do it in return. To be a person of your word, always. To not let people down. To go beyond the level of kindness and generosity that others have ever seen or have come to expect. To give people one more chance than you may even feel they deserve. To have the strength to remain open, even when the world seemingly does everything in its power to muscle you away from your genuine core.
I don’t always treat others the way I want to be treated. But I really, really do try. I hope you do too.
About my book:
It’s All My Fault: How I Messed Up the World, and Why I Need Your Help to Fix It
My book peaked at #25 on Amazon’s Best Seller List for Social Activist Biographies. If you help it get to #1, Oprah and Stephen Colbert will tell boatloads of others to read it - generating millions of dollars - and then we can use the money to build tiny home communities and get people off the streets. Find it here.
Knowledge is Power
Pattern Based Problem Solving
The Four Levels Of Personal Development
How to Answer Any Question You’re Unsure About
You need to overcome the tug of people against you as you reach for high goals. George S. Patton
The golden rule is endorsed by all the great world religions; Jesus, Hillel, and Confucius used it to summarize their ethical teachings. And for many centuries the idea has been influential among people of very diverse cultures. These facts suggest that the golden rule may be an important moral truth.
Let's consider an example of how the rule is used. President Kennedy in 1963 appealed to the golden rule in an anti-segregation speech at the time of the first black enrollment at the University of Alabama. He asked whites to consider what it would be like to be treated as second-class citizens because of skin color. Whites were to imagine themselves being black -- and being told that they couldn't vote, or go to the best public schools, or eat at most public restaurants, or sit in the front of the bus. Would whites be content to be treated that way? He was sure that they wouldn't -- and yet this is how they treated others. He said the "heart of the question is ... whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated."
The golden rule is best interpreted as saying: "Treat others only as you consent to being treated in the same situation." To apply it, you'd imagine yourself on the receiving end of the action in the exact place of the other person (which includes having the other person's likes and dislikes). If you act in a given way toward another, and yet are unwilling to be treated that way in the same circumstances, then you violate the rule.
To apply the golden rule adequately, we need knowledge and imagination. We need to know what effect our actions have on the lives of others. And we need to be able to imagine ourselves, vividly and accurately, in the other person's place on the receiving end of the action. With knowledge, imagination, and the golden rule, we can progress far in our moral thinking.
The golden rule is best seen as a consistency principle. It doesn't replace regular moral norms. It isn't an infallible guide on which actions are right or wrong; it doesn't give all the answers. It only prescribes consistency -- that we not have our actions (toward another) be out of harmony with our desires (toward a reversed situation action). It tests our moral coherence. If we violate the golden rule, then we're violating the spirit of fairness and concern that lie at the heart of morality.
The golden rule, with roots in a wide range of world cultures, is well suited to be a standard that different cultures can appeal to in resolving conflicts. As the world becomes more and more a single interacting global community, the need for such a common standard is becoming more urgent.
Golden Rule Treat others only as you consent to
being treated in the same situation.
• I do A to another.
• I’m unwilling that if I were in the same
situation then A be done to me. ⇐ Don’t
KITA - four elements for using the golden rule wisely Know: "How would my action affect others?"
Imagine: "What would it be like to have this done to
me in the same situation?"
Test for consistency: "Am I willing that if I were in the
same situation then this be done to me?"
Act toward others only as you're willing to be treated
in the same situation.
“If we are to live together in peace, we must come to know each other better.” ~Lyndon Johnson
A while back, I told a friend that I try to follow the old adage “Treat people how you wanted to be treated.” He responded that he tries to treat people how they want to be treated. This really got me thinking.
I’ve always tried to gauge people’s needs by relating to them—by seeing myself in them, and giving them what I would want if I were in their shoes.
It never occurred to me consider how I differ from them, and how their wants may differ, as well.
This friend of mine, he values connection and support, just like everyone else, but he’s not someone who likes to talk about his problems at length. In fact, he prefers to get things off his chest and then move on, instead of dwelling on things that bother him.
A mutual friend of ours enjoys dissecting a problem from every angle. If he treated her how he likes to be treated, he may try to help her let go and move on quickly, as that’s how he does things.
But he doesn’t treat her that way. Instead, he simply listens until she’s done talking, because he understands that she appreciates that.
He understands that what works for him isn’t necessarily what works for everyone; and that there is no right or wrong when it comes to the support we want from other people.
What a beautiful way to be there for someone—to try to ascertain what they value in a friendship, and then provide it, without question or judgment.
I’m not suggesting we enable people when they’re compromising their emotional well being, or facilitate codependent relationships by giving in to unhealthy requests.
I’m suggesting we can make the world a better place by meeting people where they are and instead of assuming that’s where we are.
It’s recognizing when someone wants space, even if you’d prefer to be surrounded by people in a similar situation.
It’s realizing when someone wants vocal appreciation, even if you’d feel uncomfortable with that kind of attention.
It’s moving beyond empathy to understanding, and building stronger relationships in the process.
We are so similar, and yet so different. Sometimes connection is seeing ourselves in each other. Sometimes it’s stepping outside ourselves, and honoring what we see.
Photo by Alex [Fino] LA
See a typo, an inaccuracy, or something offensive? Please contact us so we can fix it!