Sunday, September 13, 2015
Why You Shouldn't Follow the Golden Rule
I grew up playing this song (and all the other My Turn on Earth songs) over and over and over on our record player so I had to include it in this post.
Do unto others as you would have other do to you.
Many people have used this for a very long time as the "golden rule". If you follow this rule, how can you go wrong? Well, of course, we should be kind and courteous to others. Help people when they are in need. Try to show our love for others.
BUT that doesn't mean that they want you to show that love in the same way that you would have it shown to you.
This is not a new concept, but I'm writing on it today since I've been thinking about it lately. I saw this happen the other day and I bet you've seen it before too since it's not the first time I've seen (or had happen to me) the same thing.
One person punches the other person, playfully, but forcefully.
"Ouch! That really hurt."
"No it didn't. Hit me that hard. It won't hurt me."
Does that make any sense? Just because it wouldn't hurt one person doesn't negate the pain that the other person feels. We don't all feel things the same or have the same needs.
Many people have read one or more of Gary Chapman's Love Language books that discuss this at length and are great. I have learned by observing and by experience that we don't always make someone happy or meet their needs by doing what we would have them to for us. If someone you love feels that cards and notes are special and show your love, but you do not give it to him or her because it's not important to you, that is not meeting their need. If your teenager wants you to go to her game or concert, but you stay home and show your support by paying for her uniform or cheering her on before she leaves, that isn't what she needs. I imagine we all have stories we could tell where our needs weren't met or where we missed the mark on showing our love to someone else.
We must be observant, communicate needs, being willing to give what others need in their way and being willing to change as their needs change with time. And if someone says something hurts them, don't do it even if you don't think it should hurt them. I know this isn't easy and I'm struggling every day to figure out how to show my love to my children in a way that they each individually need it because none of the three of them are the same and none are much like me.