It’s Time to Expand the Golden Rule

Do unto others . . .

You know the rest.

. . . as you would have them do unto you.

The Golden Rule has been around throughout history and across cultures, and I wholeheartedly agree that we should treat others as we would like to be treated.

What what about us? Shouldn’t we treat ourselves just as well?

Do unto yourself as you would have others to do unto you.

I think we should. To build our own well-being for its own sake as well as to build our positive capacity to serve others.

Not Quite Grey Gardens

For the past four months, my house has been cleaner than, well, ever. It’s no coincidence that a dear friend has stayed over for a weekly break from her epic commute for exactly that long.  

It’s not like my house was a recreation of Grey Gardens, but I do have this habit of waiting until my sinuses are stuffy before I break out the dust cloth when it’s only me at home. It’s not like my improved housekeeping is because of my friend’s pickiness (not a thing) or to stroke my ego, either. I helped take care of her kids when they were little, and she helped care for my mom during her final days, so for us mi casa truly is su casa with both houses no judgment zones.

My cleaning for her but not for me is the first part of the Golden Rule. 

Clearly, I’m in need of Golden Rule expansion: keep the house as clean for me as for company.

Expand the Golden Rule to Include Yourself

You’re busy. In our culture, if you’re a professional woman, being busy is real. Which makes it even more essential that we care for ourselves as least as well as we care for others. Not just for us, but to build the reserves we need to care for others well. 

Maybe your lack of Golden Rule Expansion isn’t about housework. Maybe you go the extra mile to help you kids eat healthy but don’t do the same for yourself. Maybe you’re always there to listen to and support your family, friends, even co-workers, but don’t take time to be heard yourself. Maybe you even talk down to yourself in ways you’d never tolerate from others.

If I can clean my house when a friend visits, I can start cleaning it before my sinuses are pounding, too.

How will you expand the Golden Rule to include how you treat yourself?

How will you do unto others as you would have them do unto you and also start doing unto yourself as you would have others to do unto you?

Give it a try. I think you’ll find that the results are pretty golden.

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image Pixabay; used with permission
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