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Learning The Golden Rule From Our Children

I don’t get much time to mingle with adults.  I work out of a home office as a medical editor.  It’s a lonely job, no office drama, no contact or connection with many people.  It can be a lovely job and short commute, but very little interaction with others.  So when I get the chance to have a conversation with someone my age or another parent–I call that a treat.

And so it happened one day, I was deep in a treat, chatting with another mom from my daughter’s school when my little sweetie ran up to me so excited with a new art project she had created.  “Mommy!  Look what I made for you in school!  Look, Mommy! Look!  See!  Isn’t it pretty?  Do you like it mom? Mom.  Mom.  Mommy!  I made it for you!”

With each tug on my flannel shirt, with each mommy, the volume and intensity increased.  And so did my blood pressure.  I was raised that children should be seen and not heard, act like miniature adults without being given the simple dignity that a child’s voice mattered.  And so the thinking goes: a vicious cycle of foolishness.

At first, I just continued talking and listening to my friend, seemingly oblivious to the little whirlwind that was begging for me to hear her, to see her.  After a final tug on my shirt, I lost my cool.  I whipped around, bent over and gave her some attention.  The crushing kind.

“Can’t you see I’m talking to someone? Don’t interrupt!”  I was more severe than I intended to be.

My daughter walked away slowly and immediately God whispered into my heart, “However you want people to treat you, so treat them … ”

I tried to act nonchalant, flashed a bright and cool smile at my mommy friend.  Odd, isn’t it, how easy it is to be polite to a stranger and how difficult it is to be polite to someone you know and love with your whole heart and soul.

After a few minutes, it was time to go and I gave my daughter a shout “time to roll!” and God’s whisper struck a cord when my baby girl ignored me.  I yelled again, “Time to go, honey!”  She didn’t even acknowledge me, although I knew she heard me.

I am not sure there’s any better advice in this world than the Golden Rule.  It’s so simple, so obvious, and so absolutely right; it needs no explanation, no advanced degree to apply.  If you want to be respected, respect others.  If you want to be loved, love others.  If you want to be judged with mercy, show mercy to others.  If you want others to listen to you, listen to others.

I could have handled it differently in that moment.

I’m learning.

What actions and attitudes do we reflect into the world? In what ways do you practice the Golden Rule?  Are there certain people in your life that it’s harder to apply it to?

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.  This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”  Matthew 7:12

About Lindsey

is from the northern woods of Wisconsin where she lives a quiet life working as a medical editor. Highlights in life are family, books, writing, and especially a relationship with her Creator.

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3 comments

  1. Tim

    Lindsey- I live in Wisconsin as well-in the Sheboygan area. I find your article interesting in that I touched on that very scripture for my article this week, which will be published on Friday. God constantly gives the writers at TBL confirmation of the words we put down each week, many articles written compliment each other indicating each of us are being guided by the Holy Presence of the Holy Spirit as we listen with our hearts, thank you for writing.

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