Writing Prompt #6: What’s the Best Advice You’ve Gotten?

I’m going to preface my response by telling the origin story of how this advice was given to me.

When I worked my first job, we would have a Friday tradition of walking over to the local Mexican restaurant that was nearby our office. Usually there would be at least five of us, but usually the crowds could grow into about 10-12 at its best. We would order tall mugs of draft beer, since it was quite cheap. For some reason, it was the approved place of drinking a couple of beers before returning to the office on a Friday afternoon. (It was usually slow those afternoons, we just needed to be on standby in case the company we contracted for, had any concerns.)

During one of these gatherings, some of us were ranting about some events that took place within the company. The owner decided to entertain his personal gains and leave his clients and workers in the back seat. One co-worker said, “He’s absolutely breaking the golden rule. You learn the damn rule on day one in business school. We all went to the same college and had the same teacher!” So I asked him, “What is the golden rule?” He responded with:

“The golden rule to life, and to a lesser extent business, is to treat others the way you want to be treated.” ~Joe Stafford, circa 2018.

If you take that quote in it’s simplest form, it takes inspiration from the New Testament of the Bible. Jesus went around teaching this rule, hoping that something so rudimentary would have effects that would radiate outward in a positive manner.

We don’t like to be treated badly, rudely, hatefully, spitefully, roughly, or any other bad word that ends in “ly” do we?

This concept also entertains the notion of giving out good karma to the world in hopes you would receive some back when the time comes. If you strut around being a major asshole, or just a big pain in the ass to everyone, that’s going to come back around.

For such a simple quote, it’s one of my favorite lessons to look back on. In many ways, I absolutely use this lesson to dictate my day-to-day actions in this world. In this day and age, I think we have all been guilty of looking within and considering our own interests, casting away other’s concerns at times. We’ve all done it. Our culture has isolated us into all of our own little personalized bubbles, even though we are more connected than ever before.

Remembering Joe’s golden rule will keep us more in tune to the world around us, especially if we consider how we would like to be treated in any situation if the roles were reversed.

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