Do Unto Others as You Would Have Others Do Unto You
Does anyone else remember learning the “golden rule” in elementary school? It was in my second grade classroom written in yellow cursive, on royal purple card stock. “Do onto others as you would have others do onto you”. Yes, this is an extremely valuable lesson to teach young kids because the human nature of adolescents is more concerned in doing things that benefit themselves over classmates, siblings and parents. By the ripe age of ten, it has been embedded in us that the right thing to do is be as kind to others as you want your friends, siblings, and each passing stranger to be to you. I’m not saying we all live and die by this rule, but we are all pretty aware that it is the socially normal and acceptable way to go about interacting with others.
So why is it that once we get a grasp on the kindness and respect others deserve to receive from us, we forget to be as caring and loving to ourselves? Why isn’t there a poster telling its reader to “Love Yourself!” in our elementary and high school classrooms? Living in this North American, judgmental culture that is heavily influenced by media, it is so common to compare and contrast ourselves to everyone around us. We invest so much time in trying to mold ourselves until we are happy; to look like that girl with the “perfect” physique; to match the grades of the guy on honour roll; to be as recognized as the social butterfly all over your Facebook news feed. Even if we aren’t trying to match up to someone we are always striving for more from ourselves. We are constantly critiquing our accomplishments and goals we have set for ourselves, our performance at work, satisfaction in our relationships, and our bodies.
The conversations we have with ourselves should be more positive. Who would ever tell a friend, or anyone, that their stomach isn’t flat enough, their arms aren’t thin enough, their hair looks like crap, or they look hideous in whatever outfit? Based on the golden rule and social acceptability nobody should be saying that to anyone! So why is this the self-talk we have with ourselves? Why don’t we start complimenting our own personalities, bodies, and accomplishments, the same way we so generously do for others.
It is true we are our own worst critiques. How about we turn into our own best cheerleaders? Yes – set goals; but don’t forget to magnify your successes as much as you do your set backs. Let the tiniest achievement be celebrated the same way you scrutinize the smallest of slip-ups.
By all means live by the golden rule. Do unto others the way you would have others do unto you. With that being said, it’s time we become a little more self interested again.
New rule!! New rule!!!!
Treat yourself with the love, respect and kindness that you so graciously give to others.
Tara Newman is a personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist who has made a commitment to help others embody an overall healthy and positive mind and body. Tara is a whole foods cooking/baking enthusiast, with a deep love for anything pumpkin or peanut butter flavored. Recently she joined NEDIC as an Outreach and Education volunteer and is excited about getting more involved in the community in a positive way!