“But I thought that you thought…” and so goes the interchange between millions of us on this planet over and over again, because we “mis-interpreted” or “mis-understood” in The first place. But take heart, it is not always our fault. Sometimes we’re “guided” down the path of confusion by tradition, sayings, and even society.
A strong case in point is the so called “Golden Rule” Which we are told states, “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You”. Perhaps one of the most quotable quotes of all time is even further venerated by giving it the reverent title “The Golden Rule”. Unfortunately, this has caused probably more ill feelings, misunderstandings and even altercations than any other unwritten “rule” in history. Outside of having been mis-translated, has been grossly misrepresented. The more accurate rendering of the concept being, “Do Unto Others The Way They desire To Be Done Unto.”
An example to prove the point of the misdirection being, “Christmas or Birthday Presents”. How often have we given a friend or loved one a gift that we truly think they would love, because we love it, and then we see they have one tenth the enthusiasm that we had when WE bought it. Truth be told, if they were to be honest, they probably would say the gift didn’t excite them at all. This of course, if it got back to us, would send us thinking of how ungrateful he or she is. “Surely anyone in their right mind would absolutely love the gift.” I mean, let’s face it after all…WE DO ! And therein lies the conundrum.
This “mis-stated” concept has us focusing on what WE like and/or how WE would like to be treated, completely discounting the fact that we are each such unique and “different” individuals in tastes, personalities, comfort zones, etc. Is it any wonder, as we get older, when we give a gift, say perhaps to a loved one, it seems not only to be unappreciated, but sometimes almost offensive? This can be expanded to virtually any act we do to another. If we don’t get the “anticipated” response that WE would give back, we suddenly find cause for hurt feelings, irritation and unfortunately sometimes, strained relations.
Let it be said, that when we start out to do an act of kindness…any act, let’s remember to SHIFT FOCUS… let it be ALWAYS from the STANDPOINT OF THE INDIVIDUAL(S) that we are giving to. (Even to the point of it being something that we personally don’t care for or even think worthwhile. Bottom line, if it makes him/her happy… go for it.)
This seems so simple, and yet goes right over our head, so very often, when we’re caught in the moment. I use Christmas/Birthday presents, being the most dramatic of material examples, but let it serve to remind us in our daily life as we desire to do something nice for someone, to do unto him/her the way HE or SHE Desires To Be Done Unto”…and watch the magic appear.