Practice is Golden

In the past year how often did you hear people say they are “grateful” for something or another?

Dealing with Covid, politics, inflation, crazy weather, and whatever each of our personal obstacle has been, hasn’t made 2022 easy. But no one ever said life is supposed to be easy.

A wise person I know once told me, “Sure, what you do with your life is important. But what’s really important is what you learn while doing it.” That has stuck with me.

So what have I learned in my decades of constructing experiences? I used to live by the old bromides of “Pull yourself up by your own boot straps” and “Look out for No.1” and “God helps those who help themselves”. You probably have one of your own to add to the list.

I found that they work if you want to build a life of self-imposed isolation which I succeeded at beyond my wildest nightmares.

For the past 30 years I’ve been working at reversing that mindset and what has aided me the most is another old saying called the Golden Rule from the Book of Matthew in the Bible. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

In other words, who am I to cheat, deceive or injure someone else when I don’t want them to do those things to me?

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well it’s not. Practicing the Golden Rule means submerging ego, resentments, self-righteousness and that incredibly destructive act — getting even. If I let any of those fester within me, I’m sure to poison my thoughts and behavior.

Instead I try to practice a couple of things every day. Say, “Thank you” whenever a service is performed for me. Say, “Can I help” when someone is in need and then carry through.

Yes, I know this sounds too basic but it works and the results are good as “gold.”

About nhbrownlee

Advertising copywriter, Creative Director and state of New York college professor. I love true stories. Who doesn't?
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