A better version of the Golden Rule?

in philosophy •  last year 


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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My husband has this exact "problem". He is direct and says things out loud just as they are. Many people don't like that at all even though he is often right and his intentions are good. I, on the other hand, appreciate when people are direct. I don't like guessing the meaning.

The english language unlike the Greek language is not an absolute language . Meaning our words change meaning .

"To Do" is a action performed .
"To Treat" is a behavior .

Both are important and represent two different aspects of how one is to live , behave and perform .

I'm not sensitive so I appreciate direct, even blunt, communication.

I am the same way and have offending many , many people unintentionally. When I engage with people I not only here what they say but try and understand their meaning . I think people are too quick to judge and miss out on the understanding or intent .

Both are important and represent two different aspects of how one is to live , behave and perform .

My idea was not to change "To do" into "To treat". It was to change "you" into "they". So instead of performing actions towards others according to how you want, you perform actions according to how they want. Instead of behaving towards others how you want, you behave according to how they want.

I suppose my post was not very clear. That's my fault.

no , it got what your intent was and agree . just wanted to add what the difference were and the importance of both . :)

Oh, okay. Got it. :)

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