If we want to make the world a kinder and gentler place for future generations (and I think that’s something we ALL want), we have to change things right now. Following these golden rules for being a better person is a great way to start! Check them out below.
5 Golden Rules to Follow to Make the World a Better Place
Last week, we talked about some rules for happiness that will help make YOUR life better. Today, though, I want to expand beyond ourselves and talk about how to make EVERYONE’S life better. After all, we share this planet with roughly 7 billion other people, and we’re all connected. What we do affects each other deeply.
We’ve all heard of THE Golden Rule. It’s an important part of nearly every religion and philosophy. Short version: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, treat people the way you want to be treated.
While I think that’s a pretty great rule to live by, I also feel like its true intention was lost along the way.
I think it originally meant “everyone deserves the same respect you give yourself,” but we’ve twisted it into “I’ll respect you, but only because I want you to respect me.” We’ve taken the most basic and simple guideline for making the world a better place for EVERYONE and turned it into a way to get what WE want for OURSELVES.
If we want to make this world a better place, we need to return to the heart of the original intent and make it more about each other. Better yet, give it a bit of an upgrade. Expand it beyond just one basic rule that’s easily misinterpreted and give each other -and ourselves- a clear set of guidelines to live by.
With that in mind, I’ve come up with some Golden RULES that we should all follow.
Rule #1: Do the right thing even when no one is watching
Our modern society has fallen into this whole “do good/post about it/wait for the praise to roll in” pattern. In other words, we’re doing good deeds just for the pats on the back. Instead, just do the right thing even when no one is watching. Do it because it’s the right thing, and not because it’ll benefit your image in some way.
There’s a quote that goes, “You see a person’s true colors when you are no longer beneficial to their life.” Make your true colors shine bright. Don’t treat people with respect just because you think it will benefit you in some way. Treat them with it because they deserve it.
Rule #2: Respect the value of others
Everyone deserves to be treated as though they have value because everyone does. There’s an African proverb that says, “Once you carry your own water, you will learn the value of every drop.” It’s meant more in a “We appreciate things more when we work for them” sort of way, but I think it also fits what I’m saying here. We are all drops of water in the great bucket of life.
Once we start holding each other up and carrying each other, we’ll truly understand the value of every living person on this earth.
Rule #3: Don’t talk about others behind their back
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but there’s a saying for it that I like. It goes, “Don’t sit at a table where they talk about others, because when you get up, you’re the next topic.” I do feel like that one still puts too much focus on “don’t do this unless you want it to happen to you,” but it’s fitting, nonetheless.
If you’re unwilling to say something to someone directly, it’s usually because you don’t want to hurt them. Talking about them behind their backs is just as hurtful, though. Kind people don’t trash-talk others, plain and simple.
Rule #4: Remember, everyone is someone’s child.
It’s not enough to treat others as you want to be treated. We need to take it a step farther and treat people the way we want our kids to be treated. There’s no greater love than that we feel for our kids. We’ll put up with a lot when it comes to ourselves, but we draw the line at letting people hurt our children.
So, before you say or do something, ask yourself, “How would I feel if someone said or did this to my kid?” After all, every single person on this planet is someone’s child.
Rule #5: Don’t just say you’re sorry, BE sorry
If you break one of these golden rules and hurt someone, don’t just say you’re sorry. Actually BE sorry. Genuinely apologize. Acknowledge that your actions caused them pain and do better in the future. At the same time, remember that no one is perfect.
When someone inevitably ends up on the other end of an apology to you, give them a chance to show you that they’re trying to do better. Remember, people do change, but only if we let them.
Just like the original, all of these golden rules still come down to one thing: be kind to others. However, don’t just do it because you want them to be kind to you in return. Do it because it’s the right way- the ONLY way- to make this world better.
Not just for our kids and grandkids, but right here and right now, too.