Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
WE KNOW IT AS THE GOLDEN RULE, and it’s a concept that crosses faith traditions, spans time and embraces cultures. Whether dealing with strangers or friends, family members or business colleagues, the question to be asked is the same: How would I want to be treated in this moment faced with this circumstance? The answer defines how we should then treat others. The Golden Rule guiding our behavior is rooted in our love for God and God’s love for us.
Jesus tells us, “Love one another as I have loved you,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” This pushes us beyond “doing no harm” to neighbor. Instead, we are to love all, both friend and enemy, and to actively pursue the good in those around us.
With such a benchmark for daily living, we create better lives for ourselves, filled with love and compassion, while enriching the world around us. Our “to do” list for every day should include acts of kindness, patience and understanding, what we would want from our neighbors, all flowing from loving and prayer-filled hearts.
“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.” - Washington Irving
Our darkest moments can be lightened by the kindness of others, pushing us, therefore, to offer others such compassion and understanding.
When an embarrassed father told Debbie Mohelnitzky that he could no longer afford to send his son to her daycare center because he lost his job, she told him to bring his son anyway. This generous act led to a “pay it forward” campaign. During one week, her center offered out-of-work parents a free half-day of childcare. It didn’t even matter if their children were enrolled there; any parent looking for a job was welcome. All Mohelnitzky asked was that those parents agree to do a good deed for someone else within the year.
Random acts of kindness count as well. We might, for example, drop a coin in an about-to-expire parking meter, saving that person a pricey ticket— or we could smile at a stranger, perhaps brightening a dark day. In each case, we seize the opportunity to reflect God’s love to those around us and thereby increase His love within us.
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