For years I have heard about The Golden Rule and attempted to live my life using that philosophy.
People relate to hearing or seeing "The Golden Rule" so much, that the original name of JC Penney was The Golden Rule. Catchy, huh.
"To apply the golden rule adequately, we need knowledge and imagination. We need to know what effect our actions have on the lives of others. And we need to be able to imagine ourselves, vividly and accurately, in the other person's place on the receiving end of the action."
I have imagination but I cannot know what effect my words, looks, or actions have on anyone else unless I am living within their being.
To do unto others as I would have them do unto me is to assume that the others are running on the same ethical steam that I am. Not so. I aspire to complete honesty. That means honest in my relationships as well as honest in business dealings and even honest in filing taxes. Sound corny?
These days I follow a standard of a golden rule that is tailored to my very own lifestyle and beliefs. I have no expectations of a certain response or behavior from anyone else. That means freedom on my part to keep myself in check and not be concerned with the consequences because I act in good conscience just because that is how I choose to live. I work on my shortcomings and live in the present (most of the time) and forgive myself when necessary.
This is not the same thing as "Live and Let Live". Nor is it the same as "To Thine Own Self Be True". This is more like don't expect the same thing from other people that I expect of myself and don't judge others, just keep working on myself.