I’ve begun to recognize a few bad alternatives to the golden rule so I thought I’d give them names and definitions (coining phrases is one of my lead ambitions in life) so here goes:
the mirrored rule: do unto others as they do unto you
This type of behavior –of only being as moral and courteous as those around us– leads to a downwards spiral of morality. I think if you asked people on the street what the golden rule is you’d get a fair portion of people giving this definition instead of the right one. It’s often mistaken. Example: you cut someone off in traffic because someone did it to you… and heck… the guy you are cutting off would have done it to you if he had half a chance.
The gilded rule: do unto others good things as far as it enhances your reputation.
This is the rule that is best demonstrated when a guy on a date showingly gives a pan handler a ten dollar bill. But when he isn’t on a date or in front of those he is trying to impress he ignores such poverty.
The controlling rule: do unto others what you think they can’t do for themselves
Make decisions for people… tell them how to run their life… go ahead take control… God knows you don’t have it over your own life… …jeeesh I sound pretty vindictive there. Example: “Oh little Billy can’t decide where he wants to go to school and what he’ll major in… he’s only 17… lets do it for him.”
The “I told them” rule: Someone else should do unto others what you don’t have the time or patience for.
“somebody should do something about that… …I told them that somebody should do something about that… and now look what happened.” “what do I pay taxes for anyway… The government should solve all of our problems for us… while I sit and watch TV and become grotesquely obese… oh yeah, and the government should do something about that too… perhaps a pill that keeps me from becoming obese and depressed and reshapes my couch potato butt.”
The grueling rule: Do unto others way way more good things than they do unto you!
This one’s actually good… Mother Theresa, grandmothers etc… God Bless these people… I just had to throw a good one in here.
But there are plenty of other bad ones… if you can think of them add them by commenting.