Friday, September 21, 2012

The 'mantras" of My Life, part 3... Do Unto Others

I have 3 “mantras” that I’m learning to discipline myself to live by; “I am that I am”, “Carpe Diem” and “Do unto others”…
My next 3 posts are going to be dedicated to explaining my reasons for choosing each one of those “mottos”. They all assist in framing the person I ultimately NEED to be

Part 3

Do Unto Others

During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz.  I breezed through the questions until I read the last one:  "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"  Surely this was a joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name?  I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.  Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade.  "Absolutely," the professor said.  "In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello."  I've never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy. 
~Joann C. Jones

                  Our differences shouldn’t determine our preferences
                          and our behaviour towards each other…

Let’s get one thing straight; I have done my share of wrongs. There are many times that I’ve disregarded those around me, not necessarily with negative physical or verbal actions towards them but often times by simply ignoring them. In ignoring them, I certainly ignored their feelings. It’s funny how we think that doing something egregious and life-altering is the only way to permanently impact someone else’s life, but more than often it’s the little things that can potentially hurt people to the core. It’s as simple as not knowing the cleaning lady’s name, after seeing her daily. Because of this, I have learned to rationalize and somewhat accept anything hurtful that comes my way (of course, to a certain extent). I mean, how else do you reconcile not having a perfect record (of being good to others) with problems that occur in our own lives? It only seems fair that I pay some kind of “price” for the little things I’ve allowed to pile up. With that, I have also learned that accepting (or taking responsibility for the repercussions of our behaviour) doesn’t make us the bigger person. It does not make me proud… It’s actually as if you justify all your (purposefully) wrong-doings because of your awareness and acceptance, so that somewhere down the line it will come back to you; so it’s okay! Not so much….

This particular mantra, I hold close to my heart. I guess not only for the obvious reasons that come to mind but also for very personal, hurtful reasons that ultimately I had to deal with. These situations opened my eyes to the unnecessary hurt one can cause by simply disregarding another person…
You might also think it is because I strongly believe in Karma, but I’ll clear this up by saying for me Karma is totally different (but yet again very similar…). With Karma, the overall philosophy is that whatever you project into the universe will be brought back to you. Karma means that, "What you sow, that also you shall you reap" in this and other lifetimes. Karma is the principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice and personal responsibility.  So with Karma it is the generalisation that all your actions, emotions, thoughts and behaviour carry consequences (good or bad). However, with “Do unto others”, it is your specific behaviour towards another person that will determine behaviour towards you by others. It’s less of a Universal and cosmic experience; it’s much more specific.

Man is selfish before he is selfless.

This is a definite truth. The reason why many people fail when attempting to commit suicide is because we are wired for survival. We have an innate proclivity towards looking out for ourselves and making sure we are “all set.” It’s the philosophy of “looking out for #1.” It’s so consistent that a person that cares for others more than themselves is usually celebrated as a “Good Samaritan” or declared a “Saint.” Interesting isn’t it… Why aren’t we more concerned about how/the way we treat others? Why is it so fantastic when someone does? Shouldn’t we all? So it’s no wonder that most don’t even think twice about offending, slandering and hurting other’s; even in the most subtle ways. This is the reason we need (and I need) mantras to live by. Where there is no code of ethics, people do whatever is in their imagination. You can’t even join a company without them telling you how to treat co-workers, clients and partners. Sometimes we need to be reminded of the impact we make. 

Until you understand the complete consequences of your actions, you will not understand how they affect others. You’ll never really understand why you should not do unto others what you don’t want to be done to you. It is The Golden Rule for a reason. It ultimately encompasses how people should behave with one another as human beings. It is a great wisdom-key that all religions of the world mainly teach. It’s a key because it unlocks a steady stream of positivity right back to you.  

I realized that it took quite some time in life for me to honestly understand and see the “must” in living by that rule. In my case, I decided to do my darnest to embody the “Rule” which is often referred to as "The Golden Rule" in Scripture. Jesus taught, in Luke 6:31, "And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise."

“Never take a mean advantage of anyone in any transaction,
and never be hard upon people who are in your power.”
~ Charles Dickens

And voila!
This is the last post on what frames my behaviour in life; on my journey towards becoming a better daughter, sister, wife, friend, boss…toward just being a better me. I don’t think without guidance and the support of mantras/rules to remind me and focus on, I would be able to keep myself on track to becoming the kind of person I want to be.
“I am that I am”, “Carpe Diem” and “Do unto others” combined are the base definition of the core person I want to be. Someone that is confident and proud of who she is, someone that enjoys the moment; leaving no space for regret, while making sure her actions today will only uplift her tomorrows. Finally, someone that knows that the number one spot is wide enough to share with everybody…

So what about you? Do you have any mantras, mottos or unwritten rules that you obey? Do you need guidance in your life?

To making a better me...

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