Jan 21, 2013

The Platinum Rule

Just wanted to drop out a short comment or two about a clever concept I heard the other day - about upgrading the notion of the Golden Rule (for those who never went to sunday school, it's the "Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You" one) to a Platinum Rule "Treat Others The Way They Would Like To Be Treated."

It's a subtle difference, between treating them as you'd like to be treated and how they'd like to be treated, and puts the onus of interpersonal comprehension squarely on our own shoulders.

Here's an example:

When I'm writing, I like to be left alone. Pretty much functional if not one single person interrupts my flow, and, barring aforementioned interruptions, I can spend a qualified successful day just on my lonesome, working on whatever project may have happened across my scope.

However, even though my lovely and loving wife fully supports my writing processes, she's much happier if I take some time out to, say, make lunch for everyone, walk the dogs, or do a brief spot of cleaning. Even though simply being allowed to focus on writing (also referred to as "buying my wife a swimming pool") is the way I would like to be treated, I can't do the same reflectively - - that leads to unhappiness, and as any married person will tell you, if your spouse is unhappy, you are unhappy. You just don't know it yet.

Thus, to have a truly successful writing day, I can't simply treat my family the way I want to be treated, I have to treat them the way THEY want to be treated. Then, as it turns out, they leave me as much time as I need to write, and in the end we're all happy.

Anyway, there you have it. The Platinum Rule. We'll now return to your browsing of cute cat memes and debates about American politics, already in progress.

No comments: