The golden rule is a sham. Let’s get clear on this.
Don’t do unto others as you’d like them to do to you. Get it out of your head. That message was for people at a previous point in our cultural development.
Here’s the new golden rule:
Treat others how they want to be treated.
That might sound way too PC to some of you. It may seem overly complicated to identify how other people want to be treated and then treat them accordingly. That concept may make your eyes roll so hard that they get stuck in the back of your head.
But that’s the new golden rule. Learn to live with it, or keep being miserable and living in a polarized world where everyone fights to the brink and beyond of insanity.
This is not complicated. It is not hard to learn how other people want to be treated. How do you learn how someone wants to be treated?
It’s easy. You ask them. Or they tell you first. It’s as easy as learning their name. After you learn someone’s name, then you call then by their name. Or you invent a nickname, but if they hate their nickname and you keep using it, you’re kind of a jerk. If they like their new nickname, then you have a deeper relationship than you started with.
After you learn someone’s boundaries (after asking them, or they tell you first), then you respect their boundaries. Or you invent new boundaries, but if they don’t like those new boundaries, you step back from that violation. And if they like those new boundaries, then you have a deeper relationship than you started with.
This is how to get along with people. It won’t work with everyone, because some of your friends are so obsessed with the original golden rule that the idea of this new one gets their underwear in a knot.
I have lost friends over this, and it hurt, but as a result now I have better friends, and that’s more valuable than gold.
Learn boundaries. Respect consent. Take no for an answer.
But let’s not even call this a rule. It’s the golden guideline. It’s perfect for this point in time, but over the course of our culture’s evolution, something else may be perfect later.
One of humanity’s core issues is its tendency to treat things right now as they have to be forever. We need to let go of that. We need to take what works right now, appreciate it, live by it, and then get excited for the new things around the corner, whatever may come.
If we do that, we’ll be just a little bit freer. Less clumsy and socially toxic.
So, you’re invited to practice the golden guideline. Treat others how they want to be treated. Deep down, that’s what we want others to do unto us anyway, am I right?