Most of us grew up learning the wonderful “Golden Rule.” It’s not a bad rule really, but it is funny how loosely it gets thrown around. “Treat others the way we would like others to treat us.” Surely a good rule, when it works.
It’s tough to follow all the time. Personally, when I can’t achieve it, I feel regret and try to analyze how I might be able to do better with it sometimes. I feel like some people hold everybody to this standard, without giving a mere thought to how they come across. One example lies below.
For me, this is nothing to take pride in. My anger used to cause me to withhold talking to or acknowledging a person for weeks, even months (I said it was nothing to take pride in). I felt I was proving my point, but mostly that it wasn’t worth communicating anymore.
Naturally, many people called me a jerk, and rightfully so most of the time. Ignorance should not breed ignorance. While I’ve grown better with this, I’ve still got a way to go. I might do hours or days, which sure beats weeks or months. Truthfully, it’s still good to have a cooling down and reflecting period (in my opinion).
Yet, somebody “close” to me in my life, straight up ignores me regularly. It might be because I’ve asked a difficult question or am trying to have a deep discussion. After trying to confirm if they heard me they’ll shout, “Yes! I heard you!” Clearly then, that person is ignoring me. Ignoring that person was the very act I was a jerk for. I grow confused.
The Golden Rule has a new definition here.
Worse, I might decide to move on and ignore for a little while (after all, why waste another minute communicating with somebody who will not communicate?), but my ignorance of them is an in-depth, analyzed, and executed personal attack (sarcasm?). Perhaps the new Golden Rule is:
“Wait. Let me do to you real quick what you do to me so you can get very upset about it.”
It’s likely you’ve run into situations or people like this at some juncture. It takes all kinds of kinds, and again, my person is not flawless when it comes to this.
We see this with people who point fingers. “You’re judging me!” Isn’t that, in and of itself, a judgement? It’s a common political game. “Accept us for everything we are, but you suck for voting for your candidate.” (I’m not saying names people, I’m staying out of that. That goes both ways despite what’s happening now.)
We’ve got to decide to follow The Golden Rule the best we can, or throw it out and try a new approach altogether. It cannot apply to some people and not others. Most importantly, it can’t apply only when it works in our favor.