Friday, June 22, 2012

The Rule



Most of us have been taught manners. It is a necessary part of functioning successfully in a civilized world. We need manners to communicate efficiently, and to get along with others. Early in life we learn the “golden rule” of treating others the way you want to be treated. We learn it at home, and it is reinforced by schools and others along our way. The idea is to “pay it forward”.
As we mature, becoming adept at learning the ways to get what we want, the rules become more distorted. Often we begin to see the possibility of adopting the “an eye for an eye” philosophy. Having a conscience, we know this is wrong; somehow we still enable ourselves to feel justified at times.
Being polite and treating others with patience and courtesy will usually get you what you want, achieving what you set out to do. This is true throughout your life, no matter the situation. Yet, we still find it difficult at times to treat others the way we want to be treated. We sometimes catch flies with artificial sweetener.
It is the squeaky wheel who gets the grease, eventually becoming unbearable enough that it will have to be changed. However things can never be changed by avoidance, by taking no action. If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. We must put ourselves in other’s positions to truly understand their place. The annoying panhandler on the road, the impatient server, the tired cashier, they each have their own set of circumstances that we cannot know.
Complaints must be balanced by compliments. Credit must be given where credit is due. Validation is a basic human need. People and their efforts must be acknowledged.
This balance is the yin and yang of life. It is the bitterness of the bad that makes the good so sweet. It is our job as humans, fellow mortals, to balance the two within ourselves and each other. We must give from the heart when someone needs it, because sometimes we do.
Charity does begin at home. We must start with our loved ones, being kind and understanding, because only then can we share it with others. Even when we are not able to agree we must learn how to be able to disagree. Even when we cannot understand, we must learn to accept.
It was the wise Mahatma Gandhi who said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” If we strive for that, we can make a difference, if only in our own lives and those around us. It is worth the effort to reach one another.

5 comments:

  1. What beautiful deep thoughts! I agree entirely with what you've said. More parents need to instill these beliefs and values in their children, and more adults need to be role models in their daily lives. I find in myself that I can get so mad at someone who I think is acting badly, but I can't stay mad, because I remember they are human and that I have so many issues of my own. I'm not always fun to work with or be with either. Compassion is as important as righteous indignation, and so is standing up when you know it's right! Great post here Annie, and a good reminder to re-read over and over!

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  2. Hi Ann, I like this post. You tell it like I think it should be and should be told.

    One of the things Mrs. Jim and I do is eat with the homeless group that comes early for Wednesday night supper at our church. Hardly ever did any of the regular church members come an hour earlier and eat with then.

    We thought that this was probably their thinking, 'now what kind of church is this that we don't talk with the members and get to know them?'

    Eating with them involves eating early and then staying through the 'regular' time to eat as some of them come at the later time after they have finished working, etc. Not all will be able to work every day.

    We have learned a lot from this group and are blessed by being reminded that not everyone is as fortunate as we are.

    We don't do this for any praise and I'm not writing for applause. Just to let you know of a practical example of what can be done for our 'neighbor' whoever he/she might be to lighten their load a bit for a little while.
    ..

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  3. Dear McGuffy Ann, a wise posting in a world that needs to hear your words. That quote from Gandhi still speaks a truth that all of us need to embrace. Thank you for it. Peace.

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  4. Great words, I hope this will be in one of your books! : )

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