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The Golden Rule

Written by  Katie Hultgren

The news seems to be overwhelmingly negative lately. Worldwide, so many people have been affected by terrible weather events, political conflicts, and even worse. As individuals, there does not seem to be much that we can do to help, or to effect positive change. A donation to relief organizations and volunteering your time and energy make a difference, but is that all we can do?

While working on the Israel article in this issue, I was reminded of a principle that was taught from the Temple on the Mount in Jerusalem. Living by the “Golden Rule,” or “Doing to others what you would want them to do to you” is an action we can all easily take, and put into practice in our everyday lives. Simply, it reminds us to be kinder.

With Words
If you appreciate someone, tell them so. If you see something nice happening, offer positive feedback. If you are grateful for someone’s actions, be sure they know it. When someone feels down, offer encouragement. We cannot presume to know what another person is feeling, but we do know what we feel. A word or gesture of thanks or kindness may have more impact than you can imagine.

With Actions
In my area, “Paying it Forward” has become somewhat of a trend. In coffee shop drive-ups, someone buys a coffee for the driver of the car behind them. You might drive up to a toll plaza and find that your toll was already taken care of by the car ahead of you. There are pizza places where you can pay for an extra slice with your order, and someone who needs a meal can redeem it. Just holding the door for someone, or offering assistance when you see someone who needs it makes life better for both of you. Make a conscious effort to be kinder.

Global Effect
There are different cultural behaviors in all regions of the world, but kindness transcends. Offering your seat on a train or bus to someone who looks like they need it will be welcomed anywhere. Another thing we can do while traveling is to honor the culture of the places we visit. Respect  and honor others’ ways of life, and do not expect them to change for you.

Taking Care of the World
Have you seen trash blowing around along the highways? Don’t be a litterbug. If everyone stopped tossing trash, there wouldn’t be any. Plant trees and flowers, and fill a birdfeeder. Recycle everything you can at home, and at the office - even your old issues of JAX FAX! Living by the Golden Rule seems so simple. Our lives are so busy with work and family, and our thoughts are occupied so much negative news and information, that simply remembering to be a better person is forgotten. Think about how you like to be treated by others, and treat others with that same courtesy. The world could use a little more kindness.

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