Your view of you

your view of you (2)

I shared last week on a golden rule for living accepted across religions and cultures: ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you’. Or in more up-to-date language: ‘Treat everyone you meet as if they were you’ (see here for that post).

Reflecting on the golden rule has made me think about how we treat or view ourselves. If our own view of ourselves (our self-image) is poor, are we likely inadvertently to treat others poorly? Equally we don’t want to think of ourselves too highly; we don’t want to be arrogant. We might then treat others poorly because we think of ourselves as better than them!

It seems that a healthy view of ourselves is ideal for the golden rule to work. But what is a healthy view? Based on what?

Some say love is blind. I am not convinced. My sense is that love is accepting (not blind). When we truly love someone we seek to accept them as they are, faults and all.

Knowing that we are loved is part of developing a healthy view of ourselves. But while some of us may have loving friends and family, some of us won’t.

For me, there is a love above all loves. It is the love of the Creator who made each of us; it’s love divine. It makes me and you children of God, loved with our faults and all.

You may or may not share my belief but it keeps me on a journey of learning how to better treat others – others who are also children of God – loved as I am loved.

Notice what influences you in how you see yourself – and how that makes you interpret the golden rule for living.

This is Mindful Monday on 29 June 2020.


Golden rule for living?

Golden rule for living

Is there a golden rule for living? If so, what is it?

In a virtual mindfulness session last week, a participant shared what does indeed seem to be a golden rule: ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’

You can put the rule positively as the participant did. Or you can put it negatively i.e. ‘Do not do to others as you wouldn’t want done to you.’ Or you could express it responsively ‘What you do to others, will be done to you’.

An updated expression might read ‘Treat everyone you meet as if they were you’. And as with all the expressions there is an assumption of a healthy self-image.

The participant commented that it came from the Bible. Indeed it does. It is part of Judaism and Christianity. It is actually also part of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confusianism – and Humanism, to name a few religions and a culture.

Mindfulness is simply practicing awareness of ourselves, others and all that surrounds us. As you notice your actions today (and the thoughts that preceded those actions), reflect on them in the light of this golden rule.

Enjoy your discovery; don’t beat yourself up. There’s gold in the discovery.




Kindness of a stranger

do to others as you would have them do to you.

This week I needed a tool to put in three spikes for fence posts in my garden. (I thought I might be able to do the job without the tool but opinion on the web was unanimous that the tool was vital!)

I could have bought the tool but  for one-time use  this seemed excess. I asked around to borrow one. But no one had the tool. I called a hire shop – but they didn’t hire the tool out.

However, the person who answered the phone at the hire shop said he had one at home I could borrow. He brought it into the shop especially for me to pick up, even though he wasn’t actually working there that day.

Rob doesn’t know me. Yet he was kind to me. He was kind twice over: he loaned me the tool and he went out of his way to loan it to me on the day I needed it.

Two journals have done studies that suggest that kindness makes you happy – and happiness makes you kind (see here).

Rob’s action certainly made me happy – and just may be that will make me grasp opportunities to be kind to others this week – a positive feedback loop.

The experience reminds me of a wise teaching: do to others as you would have them do to you.

I am going into the week with an eye for the opportunity to be kind – to be kind even to someone I don’t know. Join me – and be happy!

This is Mindful Monday at on 19 February 2018. Sign up to receive weekly posts in your email inbox or follow on Facebook.

Join us for an evening of practicing mindfulness in Cheltenham on Monday 12 March 2018.