Are You “Dumbing Down” the Golden Rule?

Are you dumbing down the Golden Rule?

When does the “Golden Rule” come into play in your life? Do you use it on purpose? Most people agree that “Do to others as you would have them do to you” is a really smart rule to live by. But it’s a principle that’s been around for a long time.  I wonder if most of us really understand its meaning or value. What makes it so smart? And why is it so hard to apply to people that irritate and offend us? Perhaps we’ve even let this concept get diluted into something that no longer feels emotionally intelligent or practical. What’s happening in YOUR life? Are you dumbing down the Golden Rule?


In the Palace of Truth . . .

Variations of the Golden Rule are found in many religions and throughout history. Some versions urge people to love other people or to avoid doing harm to others. In general, the intent of the Golden Rule is to promote empathy by considering how kindly one might like to be treated. In its most potent and life-giving form, the Golden Rule reveals how you can be empathetic or even loving toward others.

People (you and me) make mistakes all the time. Some of them are harmless.  Some mistakes alter a person’s life forever. Then there’s this huge middle-ground that most of us exist in on a daily basis. In the office, in the classroom, and at home, we have to constantly choose whether we will truly treat others with kindness and respect – regardless of their mistakes.

I had a boss that liked to refer to the “Palace of Truth” as the place where only gut-level honesty had room to exist.

So, in the Palace of Truth,

  • Do you worry that showing kindness or love to someone behaving badly means you agree with their behavior? Even worse, that it might result in your being taken for granted or considered naïve in some way? That’s a reasonable concern.
  • Do you generally apply the concept of the Golden Rule ONLY to those whom you deem worthy of such treatment? This would make you like most of us . . . human.
  • Who gets your empathy and kindness? Are they those whom you understand the best?  What about those you don’t understand at all?  What do they experience of you?

 Your answers to the questions above could reveal which version of the Golden Rule you are applying to your daily life. The good news is: You can treat others (for example, your kids, your co-workers and friends) with love and genuine empathy – even when you don’t agree with their actions, IF YOU START WITH UNDERSTANDING.


The Wicked Smart, 100% Pure, Gold Golden Rule

We spent some time discussing how misunderstanding causes burnout and discouragement in relationships of all kinds.  Just misunderstanding the difference between introverts and extroverts can be quite costly.

The upside of understanding is that it is Step 1 of the 100% potent, fully caffeinated, highly intelligent version of the Golden Rule.  You can’t treat others the way you want to be treated without first seeking to understand them. You definitely can’t love others the way you love yourself without understanding both yourself and them first!

Applying The Golden Rule is actually a 3-Step Process that anyone can do if you master Step 1:


Understanding someone’s preferences and inner drives explains where they are coming from . . . EVEN IF YOU SUSPECT THEY ARE DEAD WRONG.


Understanding leads to appreciation for their point of view . . . EVEN IF YOU BECOME CERTAIN THEY ARE WRONG.


Appreciation leads to a more kind, loving version of your response to their choices . . . EVEN IF YOU WILL NEVER AGREE WITH THEM.


Don’t Dumb Down the Golden Rule. Get Started on Step 1.

So don’t choose a diluted version of the Golden Rule that requires no emotional intelligence on your part. Make sure you have the authentic, 100% pure rule in place. Seek to understand others first and you will be able to treat them the way you want to be treated.

InnerKinetics helps you with STEP 1. If you’ve been tracking with me, you’ll know that last week’s post was all about STEP 1 and understanding the huge differences in just one major area of a person’s InnerKinetics (or inner design). Let’s keep going!

Find out your InnerKinetics here:

Help Me Identify My Inner Design

Stay tuned next week as we take a look at the two major lifestyle preferences all humans operate with. Which one do you prefer?

If you are anxious to learn more, here are some excellent resources that lead to understanding yourself and others:

1. Intelligently Emotional
2. INNERKINETICS – Your Blueprint to Excellence and Happiness


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