My Golden Rule of Caring

© Glow Images – Monkey Business Images. Model is used for illustrative purposes.

It was the day when three tradesmen were working in my house. We were all really busy. The front doorbell rang. When I answered it, a young man stood there. He told me that the government had employed him to go door-to-door in my area to offer householders like me two free power-saving devices. He seemed like a sincere guy who was just trying to make a living, so I took up his offer and invited him in to install them.

While he was unpacking the products, I noticed he was sniffing quite a lot. Without thinking much about it, I offered him a tissue to blow his nose. He was most grateful. Then he said that the sniffing was probably because he was hot from pushing his little product cart around the streets in the heat. So I poured him a glass of ice-cold water from the refrigerator and gave it to him. He thanked me and said that I had been very nice to him.

He and I completed the necessary paperwork, I signed his iPad, he collected his bits and pieces and departed. A few minutes later there was another knock on the door. When I opened it, there was the young man again. He asked if he could use the toilet. I showed him the way and left him to it. When he re-joined me in the lounge, he apologized for returning, but said he was most grateful for my kindness. I replied that it was my pleasure to assist him.

In my life I’ve been grateful many times for the kindness of others. Difficult circumstances have been eased by someone’s caring and kind-heartedness.  Why then, shouldn’t I show this particular young man the same thoughtfulness and consideration that I’d received in the past?  After all isn’t this what it means to practise the Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you?

This Golden Rule, although being a blueprint for civilized action, springs from a spiritual basis. It embodies the qualities of genuine humanity, thoughtfulness and caring. When activated in thought, these character traits grease the wheels of society. They make life more agreeable for ourselves, and others. I’m sure that if I had to do that young man’s job, I would hope that someone would be thoughtful enough to care for my needs.

Following the Golden Rule, and treating  others as we would have them treat us, brings with it a great sense of pleasure. There’s something truly gratifying in being able to meet someone else’s need – without any thought of reward. That’s why my mother lived her life by the axiom: If you’ve had a kindness shown you, pass it on.

For my mother, unselfish acts, common decency and consideration for others, were essential spiritual characteristics to be practised at home, school, in the workplace and elsewhere.  I’ll always be grateful that she taught me that life-lesson. Such spiritual training has led me to what I call my ‘golden rule of caring’ – that is, be kind and help others as you would like them to be kind and help you, and, do it without expecting anything in return. This rule of caring has been a life-changer for me. It could also be a world-changer.

So if you’re into life-changing, world-changing actions, why not,

1. endorse my ‘golden rule of caring’ and carry it out

2. think of random acts of kindness as the norm

3. genuinely care for and support one another

4. replace selfishness with thoughtfulness

5. let big-heartedness reign supreme in your thought and deeds.

Now don’t you agree that this is something worth working for!

This article also appeared on Motherpedia - an online community for Mums by Mums

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I'm a Melbourne based health writer who provides a perspective on the connection between spirituality, thought and health. As a keen blogger, my aim is to provide the public with a diversity of health content including research into the mind-body connection and how thought affects health.

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Comments

  1. anne wiggs says

    I love this “Golden Rule of Caring”. I too have been thinking on Christ Jesus’s directive to “love your neighbor as yourself” and it came to my thought that everyone that comes into our life, everyone we meet–we are here to help them and they to help us. The whole purpose is to love one another and then in so doing we demonstrate all of the Golden Rule “Love the Lord thy God with all of thy heart,with all thy soul and with all thy might “. With –how can I be of help to this person? upermost in my thought, gives me a sense of “being about my Fathers business” and is so rewarding!

    • says

      Thanks Anne for your comments. Loving others by helping them is a great way to live the Golden rule of caring. Glad to know that this is what you are doing. Keep up the good work.

  2. Yvonne says

    To obey the Golden rule has always been uppermost in my thinking and doesn’t require any effort and it does bring it’s rewards. What a difference it would make to the world if everyone followed this simple rule. Thanks Beverley.

    • says

      Good to hear from you Yvonne. Glad to know that you’ve been putting this into practice. You are already helping the world to be a better place. Well done.

  3. Keziah says

    Just one week ago I was the recipient of the ‘Golden Rule of Caring’.
    I left my car for a major service, one hours drive from home and no public transport in between! On my drive in to the service organisation I had been praying that the work would be done conscientiously, thoroughly and with care, and expressing gratitude for the care of this organisaion. I receive a call from them 2 hours after I had left the car to say that there were two major problems, parts would not be delivered until the following day and the work would only be completed the day after that.
    When they called they had already arranged a coutesy car that would be available immediately and for the time involved in repairing my car.
    I felt so blest and so grateful for this kindness and care.
    I collected my car two days later and expressed my delight at their thoughtfulness.
    Thank you for reminding us of the loved ‘Golden Rule’ and also our responsibility in practicing this.

    • says

      What a great experience you had. Thanks for sharing it. Your needs were certainly met through that organization’s kindness and care for you and your vehicle. I know that you will have an opportunity to pass that kindness on to someone else.