Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Golden Rule

I offer an apology for being late with my blog today, but I've been insanely busy with an event I was organizing for our Mom's group. It's all over now, thank God, and I'm wiped out. What is it about my nature that causes me to take on virtually everything for a huge event? Is it to prove to myself that I can do it, that I really am that good? Is it about my ego?

These are questions that I am facing today about myself. They deserve a hard look because I crossed my t's and dotted my i's for every moving part of this event, and it all went off well (I'd love to say without a hitch, but the coffee I put on to perc came out like swamp water), but when I begged for help I found it hard to come by.

There are so many interesting personality types in this world. There are the hard-charging Type A's like me who sign up, roll up their sleeves and do their damnedest to get everything done to the best of their ability. Then there are the wafflers, who want to help, but come up with many reasons why they can't, or promise to help and then renege at the last second. The third group are people who ignore requests for help and simply don't look around to see that anything needs to be done. They are in their own world, busy with themselves, and can't seem to break out of navel-gazing to offer assistance to others.

Today I wished I was in the third group. I'm not a waffler, never have been and don't want to become one, but today I didn't want to be so hyper-responsible. I wanted to focus on my own needs and not worry about anyone else. It's emotionally exhausting to reach out to others and solve the problems of a large group of people. It looked so appealing and relaxed to me to focus solely on your own needs. But then I realized I don't want to live my life insulated from reality by my own design. I want to be aware, of myself and others, and not become self-absorbed and ridiculous.

It's a fight to think about others before myself. It's not easy. Many days I don't want to do it, especially when I look around and see other people who are perfectly happy to live their lives on their own terms and not inconvenience themselves for the sake of others. Is that what I want to teach my kids? Or does The Golden Rule still mean something: to treat others as we would like to be treated? I'm banking on the fact that The Golden Rule is still valuable, even in this cynical age where it's every man, woman and child for themself.

Those who will lay down their own comfort or desires to help others are like gold in a society that trades in copper. Those friends that you can rely on, who genuinely care and will go the extra mile for you, are a treasure that should never be taken lightly. Hold those people close, thank them often, and be willing to give to them when they need you. The Golden Rule, like everything in life, only means something when it's put into practice, not simply spoken about with words.

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