Tuesday, May 6, 2014

5/7/14—Rethinking The Golden Rule

I had a revelation in the shower the shower the other day. It's not really groundbreaking or anything, but it has given me some interesting and profound thoughts.

I've always been compelled by how pretty much every religion agrees on the really big things. They all agree there's a higher power of some sort, for example. And most have, as a key dictate, what's known as an "ethic of reciprocity" (aka The Golden Rule) that says you should treat others in the same way you would like to be treated. 

I mean, think of it...once you agree on those two things, as most humans would tell you they do, there should never be war or violence. There should never be fighting over whose God is best. We should live in a peaceful society. Most of the Ten Commandments are covered by the Golden Rule. Most societal laws fall under that umbrella, too. Once you've agreed upon there being a higher power and an ethic of reciprocity that needs to be followed, really everything else is details...what's the god's name, does he have a son, do you have free will...none of that is bigger than "there is a god and he wants you treat others well."

But that's not my revelation. 

My revelation is that, in New Age thinking, there's something they call "The Law of Attraction". And what that means is that your thoughts create your reality. If you believe you're misunderstood, you'll find evidence of that all around you, for example. The Law of Attraction is also said many ways...what you put out comes back to you...thoughts become things...if you believe it, you can achieve it...what you're looking for will find you...even "he who smelt it, dealt it." :D

What I hadn't realized before is that this is the same thing as the Golden Rule. It's just coming at it from a different angle. And it's less of a rule or ethic than it is a law, fact, warning or guarantee. What I mean by that, is that the way you treat others defines the way you will be treated. Not the other way around. So the Golden Rule isn't a suggestion, it's a statement of fact. It's an accurate prediction based on past performance. It's like a mathematical equation. Absolute. The way you would treat others is how you will be treated.

If you're the kind of person that's ready to fight back at least as hard when you're attacked, you will be attacked. There will be a lot of conflict in your life. Because that's how you would do unto others, that's the energy or vibration you attract. And until you change the way you feel and think about reciprocity, you're going to continue to attract that energy, whether you're outwardly attacking others or not. As long as you think "an eye for an eye" is the way to go, you will live in an environment of fear, attack and hair trigger response. 

And as long as you wait for everything around you to change before you change (aka, "I'll give in when he gives in,") you'll be stuck in that cycle. Because think about it, if you're waiting for the other side to wave the red flag, you're essentially saying "I would like the other side to wait for ME to wave the red flag before they give up." Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Maybe this isn't such a brilliant realization...haha. I've just noticed that, over the past few years as I've become a nicer person and have been willing to be the first to give up on fights from time to time, my world has changed. It hasn't changed the people I've struggled with one bit, nor should it. But it has changed their potency and presence in my life. And more than that, it has changed the kind of people who ENTER my life. And that gave me the context to see that the Golden Rule isn't just some Biblical ideal, it's actually an operators manual for how life works. 

And—very important—it's not just about what you DO, it's about what you feel and think and say, too. So if you're an innocent victim of people treating you in a certain way, take a good, hard look at how you think of others. The rule doesn't necessarily work tit for tat, in that if you call someone names, they will call you names. You may hurt people in ways other than they hurt you. The problem is in thinking it's EVER OK to intentionally do harm to another. 

So there you go. If there's an energy in your life that has dogged you too long, change your thoughts and actions. Be the one who gives up the fight first. Be the one who makes a different choice. And don't just do it so good things will come into your life, feel it and think it, too. That's the hard part. There's a certain amount of "fake it until you make it" involved, but ultimately you have to change the way you've been seeing and handling things all your life. 

Ask yourself honestly, "if I knew the Golden Rule was an edict that shaped the course of my life, rather than a suggestion of how things "should" be, would I act differently than I do now?" Some may not. The way we respond to others is just as imprinted in us as smoking or excessive drinking are, and people continue to do that when they know it's killing them. But at least ask yourself. Because you can't change what you're not aware of. And if there's something in your life that needs to change, you're the one that's going to have to do the changing. 

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