The Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”
My mother claims that she learned about The Golden Rule after she attended Vacation Bible School as a child with 2 of her neighbors.
As a child, I can still remember my mother telling us that we should always treat people the way we want to be treated. She would often remind us that we should be respectful to people who were different from us or who were less fortunate than us. I can remember when she would tell us not to laugh or stare at someone if they “talked funny” or “walked funny”. Of course, that probably happened more often than she wished, especially since young children are always laughing at things or saying inappropriate things (due to their age not their ignorance).
I think much of this belief in The Golden Rule comes from my mother’s disability too. My mother became disabled with an auto-immune disease when I was a young child. She was unable to work most of the time. She would often need assistance to do simple tasks. Having a disability gives you a different perspective on life and on people.
This belief was passed on to me by my mother.
Just last night I was having a conversation with one of my cousins. She happened to be hanging out with on of her friends when I called her. We somehow got on the topic of things that she does not like. Her friend answers the question with this response, “We don’t like __________.” (Fill in the blank with an ethnicity. I will NOT print the actual word used by them.) After the response, they started giggling. I was FURIOUS! I told them that I was not laughing and that the response was inappropriate. They claimed that they were joking.
Believe me, I would never say anything like that about another person’s ethnicity or ethnic group even if it were a joke. I would not expect anyone in my family to make a comment like that. Not only did I feel the comment was inappropriate, I felt it was just plain wrong. One of the things that irritated me was that we have friends (close friends) that are of that particular ethnic heritage. My cousin also knows some of these people. Yes, I know that you’re thinking it’s just downright prejudice. I agree.
I hate to say it but it really is a reflection on their parents. Those kinds of views are passed down by parents to children. When children are younger, they don’t dislike anyone based on age, race, religion, disability, or economic status. Let’s face it…children like all other children when they’re playing. Okay, maybe not the bully who cuts in front of them. The reason why children grow up to be young adults who make inappropriate comments about other people based on their race is because that’s what they lived at home.
It’s true what they say, “Children live what they learn.”
I will be having a conversation with my cousin very soon. I blame some of it on immaturity but most of it on ignorance.
I am grateful that my mother raised me to live The Golden Rule. I may not always get it right, but I sure do try. I hope I can do the same for my children.