I would be willing to wager that just in seeing the title above, you are able to intuit the content of today’s musing. It’s pretty familiar – that line from Matthew’s gospel (MT 7:12); sometimes that’s a danger. I went back to the beginning of today’s lectionary to look again for something to consider so as to not repeat myself, having most likely used this text before (and in case anyone is counting, today this blog will reach 15,000 hits in the somewhat over two years that I have been writing!). Everybody knows the Golden Rule, right? (“Do unto others whatever you would have them do unto you.” – just in case you need a jump start.)
Then I began to really think about specific things that I would feel good about and some things that would upset me should someone “do them” to me. Examples of affirmation and criticism come to mind. Depending on how sensitive I am to either or both of those experiences, they could be quite serious – even if the person “doing them to me” doesn’t mean things the ways I take them. Even an off-hand remark can have ramifications. Last evening I was in a group where the conversation turned to consideration of the level of negativity in speech and how as self-knowledge and self-acceptance grows, the necessity for comparison to and denigration of others diminishes. It was a great conversation that moved from there into consideration of spiritual practice and how that affects our actions. As I write this morning that seems appropriate as a way to assure adherence to the Golden Rule.
While I could spin off into a great number of ideas here, the bottom line seems to warrant an “examination of consciousness” of how I have been treating others lately and a determination to tuck the Golden Rule in my backpack for the rest of this Lenten journey. Won’t you join me?