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The Golden Rule: ethical conduct - do unto others as you would have them do unto you.


I get that there are parent / child / sibling / in law strife and stress. All relationships take work in my opinion. I have worked hard at mending and growing my relationship with my mom over the years. Mending only because we all hurt each other at times - words & actions or lack of both. My personality is to move forward always thinking about how I would want and desire my kids to respond and keep up with me as I age. I want to do that for my mom (and did when my dad was alive as well) in spite of any problems ie life that has happened along the way. I guess I think of the golden rule as love. I live close to my mom who is trying to stay independent - and I help her physically with many things - groceries/driving/washing clothes and visiting - to just spend time with her as I can. Because I live close and choose to do what I can - I totally do not expect my sibling to do what I do BUT for the life of me - as the days tick by with no call or text from my sibling to our mom - I wonder if once my sibling is 80, immobile and a lonely widow if she will expect her children to tenderly be involved in her life - even to just cheer her up one day. Maybe people don't relate how they answer or don't answer the call of the golden rule to what they expect on others for themselves. For now - I continue on and know that even with all I do my children are watching and will make that choice for themselves one day. I hope they choose to follow the Golden Rule.


Rant over, thanks for reading.

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The golden rule is about how you spend your own life. It isn't like karma where you expect your good works to come back to you, it's about doing what is right and ethical despite the reality that the world is flawed and you may never reap any reward.
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The Golden Rule is not a myth and many people do seek to live by it. Not everyone knows what it is or tries to live by it unfortunately.
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Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy might, and thy neighbour as thyself...

It is a good rule, or a good aspiration anyway - and the higher you aim, the further you will get even if you, being only human, fall short.

But Robert Heinlein did point out one flaw. He said: "do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same."

And it isn't only tastes that vary. There are also wide variations in capacities, and in circumstances.

it isn't that I don't relate to your pondering on your sister's choices. Heaven knows I've spent whole hours I'll never get back ruminating on what could possibly be so painful or difficult about taking two minutes to pick up the 'phone and say "hi," or to sign your own name on a birthday card that somebody else has taken the trouble to get ready, or just to show some flicker of interest in how your dear old mother is doing. It drives me nuts that I will probably never understand the reasons; but I do know there must BE reasons, whether or not I'd agree they amount to a justification.

You can let the Golden Rule guide you, and may it never let you down. But I'm not sure you can safely judge whether or not other people are doing their personal best to follow it.
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It's not a myth. A documentary [can't recall which one] talked about how fairness is basic to the human race. Without it, likely the human race wouldn't have survived. Humans also have selfishness, narcissism, effects of abuse, or mental and physical illnesses that change their interactions with others.

From your post, it sounds like you and your mother have been at great odds and you've had to make a serious effort to get beyond that and move on. Is it possible your sibling was hurt too much to get beyond it? Many of us on this forum have been purposefully hurt beyond the pale and that abuse caused us to cut off all contact for our own protection.
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Kathie333 Apr 20, 2019
The real sad part is we only are hurting ourselves when we can't forgive and move on. I know this from my own life experiences.
But it's possible, hard, but totally possible.
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The Golden Rule is not a myth, it's a reminder of how people should treat each other to make this a better world. But if I - that is, me, my own self - want to make this a better world, then I - me, my own self - need to live by that Rule.

And one thing I DON'T want is somebody shaking their finger at my nose telling me I better live by it, or else! Or else I am a bad person. Or else they are holier than I . Or else anything, really. So I won't do that. I will actually just simply live by that Rule, and quietly let others decide if they want to live by it, too. Because that is really what makes the Rule Golden. And it's not a myth if even one person lives by it, and by the grace of God may that one person be me today.
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jacobsonbob Apr 19, 2019
Well stated, DesertGrl53!
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The golden rule is a mandate for each of us individually, a way we should each live and strife to conduct ourselves. But that’s where it ends. Another passage of scripture that teaches the fruits of the spirit names self control, and that’s because self control is the only control we have (and even that is limited) We don’t control the actions of others, either our siblings, our children, no one. We can wish they’d apply the golden rule, but as we only have self control we can only apply it individually
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Willnotorcannot,
Your concerns over your siblings not contacting your Mom has not gone unnoticed.
Even though this is an all too common and sad dilemma for which so many caregivers suffer and hurt over, this is happening to you. Just so you know that you are not alone, will that help you to keep going where so many have gone before?

You have started a good discussion about the golden rule. Thanks for reaching out in such a unique manner. One would think about siblings growing up in the same family, there might be a consensus about how to treat others. Thinking that our siblings are "rule breakers".
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Others misinterpret the Golden Rule, stating it says:
"Do unto others as they have done unto you".
This is error.
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Countrymouse Apr 18, 2019
Error and a little wishful thinking perhaps? It made me smile, though, thank you :)

"Anger begets anger, but a soft answer turneth away wrath" - I first used that thought in practice in 1985 and I was AMAZED at how true it turned out to be.
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Here is what I believe and what I have seen. This is just my point of view and what I study. I do NOT ask anyone to believe what I believe, nor what I say to base their beliefs on it. Please feel free to come to your own conclusions.

I spent years studying different religions and most of them have in common, but may call it by different names.

--"Do unto others as they have done unto you,"
--Krama, what ever you send out in the universe it will come back to you--good or bad!
--"Do unto others as you would want others do unto you for others will do unto you as you have done to them--times three"--WICCA
"Do to others for you control your destiny and the power within"--Satanism Which has nothing to do with worshipping the devil, the word Satan in Greek means 'oneself' however the APA has change the meaning over the decades. Satanism is believe that there is no God in Heaven, there is no Devil in Hell--there is only you and you have both of these within you. To me, this belief makes no sense!

I grew up with a mother who always told me whatever I do to people it will come home to roost. Unfortunately, she herself never bought what she was selling. By the way, what she has done to me and my brother she is paying for and not by me...something else! Anyways, I have seen it more times than I can count.

Whether you believe in God, Karam, the Universe or nothing at all the one thing remains true (in my opinion)--if you use, abuse, mistreat, or hurt people it will come back to you. It may happen in a short time, it may take a long time, it may happen right before a persons passes from this world. But no one can mistreat & use people and not pay the price. I myself have wrong people when I was young and I paid the price. Moreover, I have also seen people mistreat people and it took a long time but they paid the price!

I guess, it just depends on your perception.


Just my 2 cents!
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“do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12).

I have tried to live this way. But always wonder if it will come back to me.

Right now I don't need anything from people. I am still able to do for myself and my husband. At this time we have our health. We are able to do for others but when we need help, will we get back what we have given. Neither one of us expect it but u just wonder.

I am a big believer in "what goes around, comes around." Good or bad.
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