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Where has the Golden Rule gone?

You would have to be living in a cave or some extremely remote location with no access to satellite or wireless reception in order to not hear or read about American politics and the upcoming elections.  It's everywhere...and it's an all out war.  Or, at least that's what it seems like to me.  I usually try not to say too much about politics because I was taught that talking about politics in polite conversation was rude and uncivil.  Today's state of social media and 24-hour news has proven to me that this lesson is, sadly, true. 

As a parent, I am trying to instill a sense of respect in my children.  Yet, how am I to do this in a world where everyone is out to get anyone who thinks, speaks, looks, or acts differently than they do?  No, this isn't always about politics.  But, let's face it, we've politicized everything.  There has been no subject left untouched in this year's political race.  There's no topic deemed to be out of bounds.  So, where does this leave us with showing each other respect?

While I swore I would never become my own parents and their words would not come out of my mouth, I find myself saying (over and over again), "If you don't have something nice to say [to your brother or sister], then don't say it at all."  I admit, after the 50th time of saying this phrase, it comes out at volume 10 with slightly different vocabulary.  But, I feel as though it's an important lesson for my children to learn - and one our society could do well to remember.

I want my children to be able to question the world around them.  I want them to be able to understand different sides to the world's problems, conflicts and debates so that they can form their own conclusions.   I want my children to be open-minded to the ideas and thoughts of other people.  I want my children to be rational, objective, and willing to admit that they may not know everything - and that there will be many times when they have to admit they are wrong.  But, how are they to learn to become like this when the world around them teaches them that it isn't possible to be this way.

I want my children to treat everyone they meet as though they are more precious than jewels - than money, fame, or personal success.  I want my children to be honest and trustworthy - to not use other people for their own personal gain.  I want my children to do good.  I want them to work hard.  I want them to be innovative and creative, not just taking what is handed to them.  I want my children to be considerate, knowledgeable, and intelligent.  They should be strong and courageous, but also wise and kind - teaching others these same things.  I want my children to always seek out opportunities to make themselves and others better.

Can our children do this in today's world?  I hope so.  I'll continue to provide opportunities to teach my children how to do this.  I'll pray and hope for them to be surrounded by others who will do the same and support each other.  But, most of all, I'll pray and hope for us all to remember that we all have things to learn and it starts with some of the greatest of lessons we learn as children:

Treat others how you, yourself, want to be treated.
Be respectful.
Be kind.
Be responsible.



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