My dearest Shosh and Jaialai:
You’ve often heard the Golden Rule: treat others as YOU would want to be treated. While it is not a bad prescription for behavior, I think you can do better.
The Golden Rule encourages you to be mindful of others; however, notice the center of attention still resides with YOU. The yardstick for measuring another’s joy is YOUR own. However, when dealing with others, is it not better to measure their happiness by THEIR yardstick instead of yours?
For example, Jaialai always saved his Jolly Ranchers for you, Shosh, and for Little V because he knew you guys loved Jolly Ranchers. Although he also loved Jolly Ranchers, he would not eat all of them and leave only the less-favored candies to share with you guys. He knew that you would be HAPPY to have A PIECE of candy, but that you would be MOST HAPPY if you got your FAVORITE PIECE of candy.
He lives by the Platinum Rule: treat others as THEY want to be treated. I want you guys to always live by this Rule. If you are going to be kind to another anyway, why not treat them as they would like to be treated instead of how you would like to be treated?
How would you know what they want? Remember the Prayer of St. Francis: “Oh Master, grant that I never seek to be understood as to understand.” Ask.
Live by the Platinum Rule, and I promise you will have a fuller, happier, and more rewarding life. Inversely, if you live by the code of “Me First!” or “take care of myself first because no one else will take care of me,” then I guarantee you that no one else will care about you. Why should they? Self-centeredness begets loneliness and misery. Don’t go there.
All my love, always,