The Genius Golden Rule
The Golden Rule is one of the most well-known of all ancient teachings. We often learn it as children but I would argue that we don’t fully understand it or the power that it holds to transform relationships. After all, when you hear “Treat others the way that you want to be treated”, you may think that it simply means to be nice to others. If this is the case, you’re missing out on the genius behind it. While it is true that it means that we should be nice to nice people, we don’t really need a rule for that. Being nice to those who are first nice to us is easy, it comes natural. In fact we reciprocate friendly behavior when others are first nice to us (see my blog post on The Law of Reciprocity from last week for reference).
The Golden Rule was invented to teach us how to be nice to people that are seemingly difficult. It leverages the Law of Reciprocity in your favor. When you are nice to someone that is mean to you, they start to feel guilty for treating you badly. As much as they may dislike you and may not want to be your friend, they will start to see you as ‘friendly’ when you use live by the Golden Rule. I teach the Golden Rule this way… “Treat everyone like friends, even your enemies.
It is true that the Golden Rule is the best way to make friends and manage enemies. This ancient social skill which is over 3,000 years old is still the one thing that could change the world overnight. Just imagine how different our world would be if everyone lived by the Golden Rule for just 24 hours. The Golden Rule is a shared moral teaching that is accepted by all. It is included in every major religion, but you don’t have to be religious to embrace it. Even atheists value it’s moral teaching and promote it. It speaks of no god or deity.
As a bullying expert, and social skills educator, and World Peace/Civility Ambassador, the Golden Rule is still the number one skill that I teach and promote in my work. It is the foundation for all of my work because I have seen the power that it has to transform relationships. Take some time today to teach the Golden Rule to your children and talk about what it means to be a Golden Rule home. If you are to have just one rule for your family, I highly recommend that you make it the Golden Rule.
Golden Rule Remix
“Parent the way that you would like to be parented”
“Teach the way that you would like to be taught”
“Lead the way that you would like to be lead”
“Coach the way that you would like to be coached”
Love is Kind
Jeff Veley is the recipient of the Golden Rule International Award from the Interfaith Peace-Building Initiative. His program received this award for effectiveness in teaching conflict resolution skills and the promotion of the Golden Rule as it relates to bullying prevention.
Jeff s officially recognized as a World Peace Ambassador by the United Nations in 120 nations of the world and is a leading expert on applying the Golden Rule to bullying/social aggression.