Through K - grade 12 I always went to a Catholic School. I also attended Bible Study every Saturday and church on Sundays so everywhere I was I was taught the Golden Rule. "Treat others how you want to be treated." This makes sense that we teach it to kids. If we want someone to be kind to us than we need to be kind to other people. But are we setting up our kids for failure teaching this?
As an adult now, how often do you meet someone and even though you may be the nicest version of yourself and they still do not respond in kind? What do you do then? Grind your teeth, smile and still be gracious and positive towards them? How do you show them kindness when it feels impossible?
When I realized the life altering act of showing more Kindness to Myself I came across a new rule that rocked my world.
The Platinum Rule says that we should "Treat others as they want to be treated."
When I first saw this my initial thought was, well this will be exhausting if I have to constantly think of what they want instead of what I want how will I ever get anything I want?!?!
A few years back I had a wonderful officemate. She was full of energy and an ex-cheerleader, and had all of those qualities to the T! When she first started working with me it was within a week of my birthday and when the day came she decorated the crap out of our shared office. She posted arrows that sat above my head letting everyone know that passed by that it was my birthday. There were streamers hanging from the ceiling and confetti everywhere. She was beyond excited, because she was coming from a genuine place of the golden rule.
Now this was a time where my social anxiety was still at its peak and I was not great at receiving praise so I hated this act of love. I really hated it. I didn't want people to know it was my birthday! I didn't want any extra attention from anyone. I didn't want to be seen at all, which is hard to do when there are arrows pointing directly at your head! I was avoiding questions like "How old are you?" or "Does it feel different to be a year older?" The only way I knew to respond was to hide and hate the day instead of enjoy it.
Same birthday day, in a meeting where it was our small team the same great officemate organized a surprise lunch with all of my fave things. Now this, this made me cry.
Both events were coming from a place of love. But one appealed to me as a person. One was executed with me at front of mind.
It's been years since and just recently my great workmates decorated my office again. This time instead of being anxious about the day and not wanting the attention I reminded myself that it came from a place of love.
It takes the awareness of both sides that will make the difference.
Which rule do you follow? And which one do you want your kids growing up knowing?