Friday, December 5, 2008

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You (The Golden Rule)

Do you notice if you smile at someone, most likely they will smile back at you? If you pat someone on the back to as if to say 'hey buddy', you will get many pats on your back too? This is a reciprocal world. You get what you give out. And as they say… Love begets Love, Hate begets Hate. So if you want the world to treat you better, treat it better first. Say more thank yous, more good mornings, pardon me(s), and I'm sorrys. Pay back what you owe, open more doors for others, and help more old people cross the street. More importantly, always be polite, never hurt others, and always tell the truth. These are basic principles that never go out of style.

You can avoid much disaster by following the Golden Rule. I remember one night, I was sitting at an outdoor McDonald's in Singapore's Orchard Road. When I hear the smack of a tray hitting the ground. Six metres away, two large-sized Caucasian men, corner a shorter, stout Hawaiian man. All three men are in their late 20's. It seems like they failed to give way to one another at the door, so they bumped and the tray fell. I hear some insults, and they start to push each other. I count the pushes, 1.. 2.. 3.. and then they had a scuffle. Somehow, the Hawaiian man manages to grab hold of one Caucasian man's neck, and swing him head first into the marble edge of the building! His forehead splits open, and the gash starts spurting blood. The other Caucasian man says, "Stop! Stop! Why are you trying to kill us, man?"

I can't believe all this started over failing to give way at the door, and not apologizing for the mistake. Instead, they chose to push and intimidate each other into a fight. So you see, whatever you give out, will come back to you, ten times stronger. "You push me, I'll push you harder. You punch me, I'll knock you out." These men let their egos get in the way of a peaceful resolution. They could have simply apologized and offered to pay for each other's meal.

As you know, this is not a rare case. Often, just staring at someone can start a fight. Or pushing someone out of a queue. Or snatching someone else's parking space. Or tailgating. Or flashing your car's high beam out of irritation. It's sad when we let our anger get the better of us. As they say in Buddhist philosophy, anger is a form of hell. So is greed, envy, lust, and hate. All poison the heart and mind. Disrupting the inner peace that would make your life wonderful. So before you take an action you might regret, ask yourself, "Is this what I would like to bring into my life?" The moment you perform that action, you are giving permission for the Universe to take the effect, multiply it by ten, and return it to you.

December 12th, 2007 by Lance Ong


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