Monday, September 26, 2005

The Golden Rule

Man, I am shocked at how some people can treat each other. While on my travels recently, I was stopped in a bar and started talking to the young and cute bartender. Nothing serious, just some jovial banter. Anyway, it was early in the week and the bar wasn’t very busy at first. As the night moved on, a somewhat older lady must have thought that I was interested in the bartender and came over to tell me all of the bartender’s dirty secrets… failed marriage, scandals, money problems, etc. I was stunned. After being stupefied for a while, I stopped her and asked her why she was telling me all of this. She replied that she was just warning me. I told her that I was rather sure that she was just being mean and spiteful. Afterall, she didn’t know me, my history, or my suitability for the bartender. She didn’t know that I was happily married and that I was simply being sociable. She was clearly more interested in making herself feel better (superior) by hurting the bartender. The woman then stomped off in a huff.

What has happened? Clearly, it is easier for people to tear each other down than lift each other up. Why is that? I have personally found that treating people poorly results in making me feel infinitely worse. We are all self-absorbed. Our behavior is motivated by what an action does for us. We pull over and help out a stranded motorist and we can feel pretty good about ourselves for the afternoon. Cool. We hurt someone to make ourselves feel big and in control. Uncool. It comes down to the Golden Rule. Do Unto Others, my friends. You can make a difference in someone’s life each day. We have the power to make the world better. As a conservative, I feel that it is my mandate. I don’t need government to make the world around me better, it is my responsibility. Part of that responsibility is setting an example for others to follow and to express disappointment when they fail. I take my responsibility seriously… and feel pretty good about it.