God's laws, and laws of character, are not arbitrary. The basic ideas of the Golden rule are found in many religions and life philosophies. The Golden Rule is presented in this essay because it is the most widely know in this society.
These expressions of life law are not given to us without good reason. We can gain insight into them by going through some "what if..." thinking.
The "What if...?" method can be applied to many situations and ideas. It is a powerful and easy to use thinking tool. It helps you to look at different sides or possibilities of one thing. When we look at only one side, we are more likely to make a poor choice. When using the method, try to imagine all possible factors, and apply "What if...?" thinking to them individually.
Example: Is The Golden Rule a very good Life-Rule? Let's apply "What if...?" to it.
What if every human followed the Golden Rule, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." What would life be like? Think about this question long and hard!
But what if you follow the golden rule while others do not? Doesnt that leave you open to be hurt?
No, not necessarily.
What if you follow the Golden Rule? What will be the benefits to you?
You will become known as a person who can be trusted. This is a good Life-Goal.
People will respect you more (a good Life-Goal) because you respect THEM. People will know you can be relied upon to do what you promise. You will be admired and respected. All of this leads to being entrusted with more tasks of greater importance. This means better jobs, more pay, more respect from others, greater influence, and more respect for yourself. Your life becomes really meaningful!
Following the Golden Rule will help you reach the following Life-Goals:
What if you dont follow the Golden Rule? What would happen to you if you did the opposite by living your life taking advantage of other people?
You might gain a momentary advantage of some sort, but in the long run people will soon learn that you cannot be trusted. You will lose their respect. You will not be given as many opportunities where you can prove your capabilities and knowledge. Advancement through your career will be much slower, because you cant be trusted with new responsibilities. People will view you as hurtful and as someone to avoid. You will be labeled as a person of No Class.
Being the opposite of what the Golden Rule asks of you will result in not reaching the Life-Goals. You will likely:
As of: 18 Dec '02