Opinion: Golden Rule is still relevant


Not too long ago, the subject matter was a universal phrase - a huge percentage of people understood and respected "The Golden Rule." Children were taught this principle early in life. It was simple; treat others the way you wanted to be treated. This was not a difficult concept, it was simply something to implement into our daily lives. That phrase would ring loud in our tender ears as children and adolescents. It really worked until the universe underwent a transformation. The Golden Rule is almost extinct at this present moment.

The new Golden Rule now has divisions - it has changed from the original principle. Today let's deal with the three divisions according to Effectiviology. This new outlook on the Golden Rule formulates it three ways.

- Positive/directive form - Aligns with the original concept, treat others the way you want to be treated yourself.

- Negative/prohibitive form - You should not treat others in ways you would not want to be treated yourself.

- Empathic/responsive form - When you wish something upon others, you also wish it upon yourself.

Everybody for the most part benefits from the positive form because each receives fair treatment regardless of whether he or she wanted it or not. Very seldom will a person yell at you for doing something overwhelmingly nice for them. The positive form is the Golden Rule.

The negative prohibitive form is, if you don't want people to say mean things to you, then you shouldn't say mean things to them. This is the other side of the positive form. Stay away from ugly remarks, and you're safe.

Empathic form is whatever you wish upon someone else, you are wishing it upon yourself. If we wish evil on an old friend, we are wishing that same evil upon ourselves.

I am adding one more modern golden rule, and that is, "I'm First," I will get you before you get me. People are so insecure, paranoid and selfish that they feel the need to get before they are gotten. To these people, it doesn't matter if the person is handicapped, young or old - they just want to walk away as the victor. Nevermind the victims and the damage they leave behind. It has become every man/woman for themselves in this age. Doctors, other professional service providers and small business owners are closing shop because of lawsuits. People will make attempts to sue for minimal things. There is still room to exercise the Golden Rule.

Jesus said, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:11-12

Following the example put forth by Jesus in these passages of Matthew allows us to demonstrate the nature of our heavenly father. It is always nice to be nice, apt to forgive, ready to repent and open to receive. This passage sums up the works of the law and the prophets. All that the prophets spoke and all that Moses wrote pointed to treating all human beings the way each of us want to be treated. God has been very patient, sending life lessons through his prophets and leaders directly to us in times of old and at this present moment. Please do not let his work be in vain. Somebody really needs to hear a profound, life-changing word today.

How will you treat others?

Sam Livingston is pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Manning.