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A better version of the Golden Rule?


2 years agoBusy2 min read


For Christians, it's Easter time. I won't be talking about Christian traditions though, and not religion either. What I will be talking about is something found in the Christian bible that goes something like this:

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

The above command, however, is not unique to the Christian religion. In fact, whether you're a Christian or not, religious or not, you've probably heard some variation of it. Most of us know it as the Golden Rule.

Basically, the idea is that we should treat others in the same way as we, ourselves, would like to be treated. It's simple, it makes sense, and it's easy to understand. Right? Well, I've always had an issue with the Golden Rule. Yes, I understand the concept and the intention but i've always felt that it's a bit flawed. In fact, I know from first hand experience that it's flawed. Let me explain.

Simply put, not everyone wants to be treated the same way. In my case, I'm not sensitive so I appreciate direct, even blunt, communication. And since this is how I am, my instinct is to treat others the same way. Problem is, most people don't like being treated this way. So by following the Golden Rule, I actually end up offending people unintentionally.

This means that treating others how you would like to be treated is not always a good idea. I think a better version of the Golden Rule would be this:

Treat others how THEY would like to be treated.

The basic principle is still the same which is: be nice to people. But I think it's also useful to remember that people are different. So it's probably a good idea to take this into consideration individually for each person you interact with.


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