“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” (Matt. 7:12)
The Prescription: Expect to be treated to the degree people perceive the respect you grant yourself.
How you treat yourself is a message to others of how they may treat you. It is a circular process that teaches us how to love and esteem ourselves highly.
When we are excellent in our own matters and affairs—like our health, attitude, and finances—we tend to become empathetic persons preferring one another’s well-being and dignity because we have, in effect, dignified ourselves. Our relationships improve also because our own lives have done just that as we’ve sorted out the kinks in our character. The obverse is that we will not treat others how we don’t want to be treated.
The Description: Our general manner toward others explains how we view ourselves.
People that truly love themselves and seek happiness and enrichment approach others hoping to connect with like quality. Those who belittle themselves are negative, distrustful of others, and hard-pressed to find any good in people.
Do you think I’ve overdone explaining this Rule? But we definitely act this way toward people we consider our superiors, perhaps for a prestige, title, or wealth. We do so because we feel there is something in it for us, not because we truly care. The deep insight of the Golden Rule is that therein we all become dignitaries, not for possessions but self-worth.
The lesson here is more than one of mere courtesy. It is a philosophy of self-respect that raises the quality of our lives and enhances the relations we share. Thus, we discover a social approach firmly rooted in personal integrity of character.